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))

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.

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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