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Cleveland: Tamir Rice Death 'Directly Caused by Own Acts'

City has 20 answers for family's wrongful death lawsuit
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2015 10:35 AM CST
Cleveland: Tamir Rice Death 'Directly Caused by Own Acts'
In a Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 file photo, Tomiko Shine holds up a picture of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy fatally shot on Nov. 22 by a rookie police officer, in Cleveland, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana))

(Newser) – The city of Cleveland has responded to Tamir Rice's family's wrongful death lawsuit, and in it the city contends that the 12-year-old's death and the family's suffering "were directly and proximately caused by their own acts, not this Defendant." It further faults Tamir, who was shot to death by a city cop while holding a pellet gun in a park, for "failure ... to exercise due care to avoid injury," per the Plain Dealer. In all, the city lists 20 reasons why it isn't at fault in Tamir's death.

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The lawsuit accuses police of acting "unreasonably, negligently [and] recklessly" and cites a December Justice Department report that found that Cleveland cops use unnecessary force routinely. Responds the Rice family's lawyer: "I do believe that a 12-year-old child died unnecessarily at the hands of Cleveland police officers and I do believe that certain officers shouldn't have been entitled to wear the uniform." The full document is here. (Read more Tamir Rice stories.)

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