Tag Archives: Samaria Rice

Family Of Tamir Rice Criticizes Stalled Investigation As Cleveland Police Seek To Halt Lawsuit

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.

Lawsuit Response: City Claims Tamir Rice’s Death Was Caused By His Own Actions

Cleveland, OH- The city of Cleveland, in response to the 71-page lawsuit filed by the family of Tamir Rice on January 30th, has claimed that the death of Tamir Rice and the subsequent injuries suffered by his family were “directly and proximately caused by the acts of Plaintiffs’ decedent.” Among the city’s 20 defenses in its answer to the family’s civil complaint was the assertion that the 12-year-old’s death was “caused by the failure of Plaintiffs’ decedent to exercise due care to avoid injury.”

In Cleveland’s answer to the complaint, it was noted that the city was unable to respond in full due to the ongoing police investigation into the incident. The investigation is currently being conducted by the Cuyahoga County sheriff’s office, and it’s unknown when that investigation will be completed.

Tamir was shot and killed by Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann last November after a person dialed 911 reporting somebody with a “probably fake” gun. Tamir had a pellet gun in his possession. Surveillance video surfaced soon after the shooting, showing that Tamir was shot within two seconds of the arrival of Loehmann and his partner, Frank Garmback.

The family of Tamir Rice had originally filed a lawsuit in December 2014, but filed a larger amended lawsuit a month later after new details had emerged. The lawsuit made references to a Justice Department report of the Cleveland Police Department, released on December 4th, 2014, that had concluded that the agency believed the CPD “engages in a pattern or practice of the use of excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.” Also in the amended lawsuit was the aftermath of the shooting of Tamir when his 14-year-old sister, Tajai, was tackled and thrown to the ground by police before being handcuffed and placed in a cruiser ten feet away from her dying brother.

The Rice family’s suit also included information about Loehmann, the officer who shot and killed Tamir Rice. Before joining the CPD, Loehmann was employed by the Independence Police Department, and personnel files from his time there revealed that he had been recommended to be released from the department due to documented “emotional perplexity” and an inability to properly handle firearms. During Loehmann’s firearm training he was found to be “distracted and weepy” and “could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal.” Loehmann was described as “not mature enough in his accepting of responsibility or his understanding in the severity of his loss of control on the range” and his superior felt that further training would not correct his behavior. Cleveland police admitted that they never saw the files before hiring Loehmann.

Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis described Tamir Rice last week as “menacing” and has defended Officers Loehmann and Garmback while dismissing the media’s scrutiny of Loehmann’s personnel file as a “sideshow”. “There’s this perception that police just slid up in the car and shot him. That’s not reality from the officers’ perception. They acted based on what they knew at the time,” Loomis said regarding the officers’ actions.

“Tamir Rice is in the wrong,” he said. “He’s menacing. He’s 5-feet-7, 191 pounds. He wasn’t that little kid you’re seeing in pictures. He’s a 12-year-old in an adult body. Tamir looks to his left and sees a police car. He puts his gun in his waistband. Those people- 99 percent of the time those people run away from us. We don’t want him running into the rec center. That could be a whole other set of really bad events. They’re trying to flush him into the field. Frank [the driver] is expecting the kid to run. The circumstances are so fluid and unique.”

Walter Madison, an attorney for the Rice family, said that the city’s response to the lawsuit is “incredulous at best. It’s unbelievable.”

“What the city officials have done for a 12-year-old is set a new standard for children in their response, and all of that assumes that they’re not responsible for hiring this guy who was emotionally unfit to be a police officer,” Madison said.


More information about the shooting of Tamir Rice is available here.

Extended Tamir Rice Shooting Footage Released: “The Cruelest Thing I’ve Ever Seen”

Cleveland, OH- Additional surveillance footage, revealing what occurred shortly after Tamir Rice was shot and killed by Cleveland Police officer Tim Loehmann, showed that Rice’s 14-year-old sister was thrown to the ground and handcuffed as she was rushing to her brother before being placed into a cruiser, and that several minutes passed before Tamir Rice received first aid.

Rice’s sister was forced onto the ground by Loehmann’s partner, Officer Frank Garmback. Cleveland.com reported that the girl was placed in the police cruiser less than ten feet away from her injured brother, and the officers stood idly before a man identifying himself as an FBI agent administered first aid to Tamir. “No one thinks that it’s appropriate to try to save him,” Walter Madison, an attorney representing the Rice family, said of the officers’ behavior. “The first person who does is not affiliated with the Cleveland police department.”

Madison described the video as “shocking and outrageous” and said “This has to be the cruelest thing I’ve ever seen.”

“This is the level of service that makes people very upset and distrustful of law enforcement,” said Madison.

Northeast Ohio Media Group made a request for the additional footage on December 11th, 2014, and it was initially denied by the office of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. Northeast Ohio Media Group hired an attorney to obtain the footage before city officials agreed to release it.

The footage corroborates a statement given by Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, during a press conference in December when she said that her daughter had been tackled by police after the shooting. Samaria Rice had also said at that press conference that her daughter was told she’d be placed into a cruiser if she refused to calm down.

The two officers involved in the killing of Tamir Rice have each been involved in prior incidents that may raise additional questions as the investigation of Tamir Rice’s death continues. Officer Loehmann was hired by the Cleveland Police Department after he had resigned ahead of termination by his previous employer, the Independence Police Department, for various documented emotional problems and an inability to properly fire weapons.

Officer Garmback was named in a 2012 lawsuit filed by Tamela Eaton, who alleged Garmback had “placed her in a chokehold, tackled her to the ground, twisted her wrist and began hitting her body” as another officer allegedly punched her in the face following a disagreement in 2010. County prosecutors accused Eaton of interfering with an investigation and punching Garmback  in the mouth; Eaton was acquitted in a jury trial and received a $100,000 settlement from the city of Cleveland.

Mayor Jackson said last week that the investigation into the death of Tamir Rice was being handed over to the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department.