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Cleveland Agrees to Pay $6 Million in Settlement with Family of Tamir Rice

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson answered questions about the settlement at a news conference. (Nick Castele / ideastream)
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson answered questions about the settlement at a news conference.

by Nick Castele

The city of Cleveland has agreed to pay $6 million to the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old fatally shot by a police officer in 2014.

According to an order from U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, Cleveland will pay out the settlement in two equal portions this year and next. Rice’s estate will receive $5.5 million, and his mother and sister will receive $250,000 each. The settlementis now awaiting approval from the county probate court.

Tamir Rice had been playing with an air pellet gun in November 2014 when someone called 9-1-1. Police pulled up onto the grass next to him, and within seconds, Officer Timothy Loehmann shot him while emerging from the car.

The family sued the city, police and the call taker who didn’t relay the caller’s doubts about whether the gun was real.

“There’s no joy or celebration in it. This is a tragedy,” family attorney Subodh Changra said, nothing that the settlement does not change the fact that a 12-year-old was killed. “And that’s really where the continued focus of this family is. There’s no amount of money that could possibly make up for that.”

In December 2015, a grand jury declined to indict Loehmann, after Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty recommended no charges. 

The city and its officers do not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement. 

“A 12-year-old died. And regardless of fault or facts or anything, that should not have happened,” Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said at a news conference. “And believe me, if I had my rathers, I would not be standing in front of you talking about this. If I had my rathers, it would not have happened.”

Jackson said the administration is still reviewing whether the officers should be disciplined.

nick.castele@ideastream.org | 216-916-6288