Last year, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a police officer outside a recreational center in Cleveland. It was later revealed that Rice was carrying a toy gun. Rice’s family filed a wrongful death suit against the city of Cleveland. Now, the city of Cleveland has responded to the suit saying that it was Rice’s own fault why he was shot and killed. The 41-page response says that Rice’s injuries “were directly and proximately caused by the failure of Plaintiffs’ decedent to exercise due care to avoid injury”.
Rice’s family and their representatives have spoken out about the city’s response to their suit. “The Rice family maintains that Tamir was shot and killed unnecessarily by Cleveland police officers,” Rice family co-counsel Walter Madison said in a statement. “Their tactics that preceded his death and the subsequent victim blaming are examples of the institutionalized behavior that has beset the Cleveland Police Department. The Rice family’s lawsuit seeks to eliminate certain institutional behaviors and practices that have no place in our diverse community.”
— VICE News (@vicenews) March 3, 2015
There are a lot of things that went wrong during the Tamir Rice shooting. One of them was that a witness called 911 to say that Rice was scaring people with his gun, mentioning that it was probably fake. However, this information wasn’t relayed to Officer Frank Gamback and Officer Timothy Loehmann, who shot Rice a mere two seconds after arriving at the scene.
The police officers also failed to provide medical assistance, until an FBI agent arrived on the scene four minutes later. Rice was sent to the hospital, but he died the next day.
A two-year investigation into the Cleveland Police Department revealed that they are guilty of using excessive force. It was also reported that Loehmann has a spotty history in law enforcement and that his previous employer, a small suburban police force, had complaints about Loehmann’s emotional state and his inability to manage stress.
— Blackout Network (@UnitedBlackout) March 2, 2015