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Cleveland to pay $6M to family of Tamir Rice in police shooting death

By Allen Cone
Cleveland to pay $6M to family of Tamir Rice in police shooting death
The city of Cleveland has agreed to pay $6 million to the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy gunned down by police in November 2014.UPI/Handout

CLEVELAND, April 25 (UPI) -- The city of Cleveland has agreed to pay Tamir Rice's family $6 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed over the boy's November 2014 shooting death by city police.

The settlement, announced Monday, does not resolve lingering legal issues surrounding the 12-year-old's killing.

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Both sides are expected to soon put the settlement in front of Chief U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. for approval.

The boy's mother, Samira, sued the city alleging that Cleveland police violated her son's civil rights.

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"Although it's historic in financial terms, no amount of money can adequately compensate for the loss of a life," said two of Tamir's lawyers, Earl Ward and Jonathan Abady of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP in a statement. "Tamir was 12 years old when he was shot and killed by police — a young boy with his entire life ahead of him, full of potential and promise."

Tamir Rice's estate will receive $5.5 million, Samaria Rice and his sister Tajai Rice will each receive $250,000. Neither the city nor the officers or dispatchers involved will admit to any wrongdoing.

Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Tamir while the boy was playing with an airsoft pellet gun. Loehmann, along with his partner Frank Garmback, were responding to a report from a dispatcher of a person with a gun.

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Tamir died on Nov. 23, 2014, the day after the shooting, and the lawsuit was filed two weeks later.

The shooting has been one of the cases nationwide of police responding with lethal force to incidents involving black residents.

A grand jury, following a recommendation from Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty, declined to recommend charges against either officer.

The criminal investigation of Loehmann and Garmback was focused on their actions immediately leading up to the shooting. The lawsuit was broader, calling into question the actions of the dispatchers who first put out the call about a disturbance.

A 911 caller reported seeing a youth in a park with a gun that was "probably fake." The dispatcher failed to tell the two responding officers those two key pieces of information.

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