The city of Cleveland will publicly and legally assert that 12-year-old Tamir Rice caused his own death.
The boy was playing with a toy gun that police thought was real. Cleveland rookie cop Timothy Loehmann pulled up to him as he played and shot Tamir dead in about two second upon arriving on the scene with his partner, Frank Garmback.
Tamir Rice’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city in the aftermath of his murder and the city outlined their defense strategy. CBS News wrote:
In a court document filed Friday, the city offers 20 defenses, one of which states that the family’s injuries, losses and damages … were directly and proximately caused by the acts of the Plaintiff’s decedent (Rice), not this Defendant.
The city also argues that Tamir failed to exercise due care to avoid injury.
The family was also cited in the court documents as responsible for Rice’s death, along with unspecified individuals or entities” other than the city.
In December, Tamir’s slaying was ruled a homicide by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Tamir’s family claim Garmback and Loehmann did nothing to help save Tamir after the was shot and also used excessive force on the 12-year-old to begin with. The family also maintains they prevented Tamir’s sister from tending to the boy my tackling her to the ground. They also maintain the city of Cleveland is withholding evidence in the case. The city denied this, citing they are in full cooperation with the investigation.
It has been under promoted that Officer Timothy Loehmann has had mental issues on the job.
Loehmann was specifically cited for being emotionally ill-equipped to handle a live gun. On report said he was “distracted and weepy” at a training exercise at a firing range. “His handgun performance was dismal,” relayed deputy chief Jim Polak in an internal police department memo. He was to be fired from employment from the City of Independence in 2012, but he resigned instead.
Check out a report from NBC News: