The city of Cleveland, Ohio, issued a response to a lawsuit filed by the family of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, saying that Rice’s shooting death was the result of his own actions.
On Nov. 22, 2014, Rice was shot and killed after rookie officer, Timothy Loehmann, and his partner, Frank Garmback, responded to a call about a young man wielding a firearm, later determined to be a pellet gun. Surveillance video showed Loehmann shoot Rice within seconds of pulling up in front of him in their vehicle. Following Rice’s death, his family filed an eight-page wrongful death suit against the officers.
After the initial lawsuit in December, the Rice family hired a new legal team that included high profile civil rights lawyer, Benjamin Crump, and filed a new 65-page suit that included 27 claims against the city and the officers.
The city’s response to the Rice family suit stated that the boy and his family were “directly and proximately caused by their own acts, not this Defendant,” and that Rice’s death was caused “by the failure…to exercise due to care to avoid injury.”
The city also claimed that they had yet to determine the accuracy of the lawsuit’s claim that Loehmann and Garmback “stood idly by” as Rice lay dying on the ground after being shot, and that an investigation is ongoing.