Cleveland, OH- Family and attorneys representing Tamir Rice spoke publicly on Monday about the delayed investigation of Tamir’s death.
Five months have passed since Tamir was shot and killed by Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann. The investigation is reportedly still ongoing, and no indication has been made by officials about when it will reach its end.
Meanwhile attorneys for Loehmann and his partner who was at the scene of Tamir’s death, Officer Frank Garmback, asked a federal judge late last month to halt a lawsuit that was filed against the officers and other city employees.
“Defendants are being pro-active in seeking to protect their Fifth Amendment rights and ability to defend this civil action vigorously in this Court, so that they can answer the complaint and testify at their civil deposition without fear that their answers may be used against them in a separate criminal proceeding, where the stakes are significantly higher and their liberty is directly at risk,” stated the motion.
Tamir’s family filed a motion on Monday objecting to the request, stating that the officers will be able to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights during deposition and trial.
The motion claims that delays in the lawsuit will harm their case and “The Sheriff’s investigation is apparently going to continue indefinitely has it has been five (5) months and there is no end in sight,” states the motion.
The motion goes on to outline several reasons to move forward with the lawsuit, including a claim that memories of eyewitnesses are likely to fade as more time passes and that those witnesses may eventually leave the area, “which poses the danger of prejudice both in terms of the loss of critical evidence and also in terms of added costs associated with securing that evidence.”
The motion notes that the family has not yet buried Tamir. “Tamir Rice has yet to be laid to final rest. Plaintiffs are incurring expense daily and are unsure if they can finally rest Tamir Rice due to the pending investigation. A stay would exacerbate this expense and emotional distress,” states the motion.
The family is requesting a hearing in front of Chief U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. Samaria has since moved into a homeless shelter “because she could no longer live next door to the killing field of her son,” according to the motion.
Full video of the family’s press conference on Monday can be seen here.
For more information about the shooting of Tamir Rice, click here.