The city of Cleveland has stated in court documents 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot and killed by city police, caused his own death.
The city claims any “injuries, loses and damages” the family suffered were all caused by Rice — not the officer involved. According to CBS News, in the court documents filed Friday, the city says Rice did not “exercise due care to avoid injury.”
Rice was fatally shot by police Nov. 22, while playing with a pellet gun. Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback responded to a call about a man with a gun. Loehmann, a rookie on the force, shot Rice within two seconds of their patrol car stopping near Rice in a park. The incident was caught on surveillance footage.
Rice died a day later. Shortly after his death the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner ruled Rice’s death a homicide.
The shooting sparked protests and generated an investigation into the events by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office.
Rice’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the two officers involved and the city in December. The lawsuit says Loehmann and Garmback used excessive force, tackled Rice’s 14-year-old sister,Tajai, and put her in the back of a patrol car when she realized her brother had been shot.
The lawsuit also claims that city employees are “withholding substantial evidence and information.” Cleveland has denied the claims in the suit and said they are cooperating with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office’s investigation.