Rice Family Says City Should Apologize for Death, Not Just "Insulting" Language

Rice family attorney Benjamin Crump speaks with reporters. To his right is Tamir Rice's mother, Samaria Rice.
Rice family attorney Benjamin Crump speaks with reporters. To his right is Tamir Rice's mother, Samaria Rice.
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Tamir Rice’s family members and their attorneys repeated their criticism of the city for the boy’s death, for the city’s reaction to it, and most recently, for the legal language they called ‘insulting.’

And despite Mayor Jackson’s efforts, Tamir Rice’s mother, Samaria Rice, said she wants a broader apology.

"I have yet not received an apology from the police department or the city of Cleveland in regards to the killing of my son. And it hurts," she said.

The family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, said it was absurd to blame a sixth-grader for his own death.

He said Rice was clearly not responsible for many factors involved in his death, including the poor performance record of the officer who shot him, Timothy Loehmann.

"It was not Tamir’s fault that Mr. Loehman was hired. It was not Tamir’s fault that there was no amount of time nor training capable of correcting his insubordination, his inability to follow rules," Crump said.

He charged the Rices have been ill-treated from the shooting through its aftermath. He described what the family would rather hear from city officials: "We made a mistake. We were wrong. We were at fault. And we want to try to heal this family and this city, and move forward and try to learn from this."

Anything short of that, Crump said, continues a pattern of disrespect to the dead boy and his family.

The attorneys played the surveillance video of the shooting, aligned with a stopwatch. Their timing showed Loehmann shot Rice less than a second after the police cruiser stopped in front of him. The attorneys said it was “impossible” that Rice got three verbal warnings in advance, as police have claimed.

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