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Cleveland Agrees To Pay $6 Million To The Tamir Rice Estate

 The family and estate of Tamir Rice will receive $6 million from the city of Cleveland under an agreement announced yesterday. The settlement dismisses a federal lawsuit over the police killing of the 12-year-old in November 2014.

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Credit Kevin Niedermier

 Rice died after being shot by a rookie officer, Timothy Loehmann,  within two seconds of arriving outside a west-side recreation center. Loehmann thought the airsoft pistol Rice was holding was real. Loehmann and his partner, Frank Garmback, had responded to a call that Rice was pointing it at people. 

In a statement, the union representing officers Garmback and Loehmann, said the union has always maintained the situation was tragic for the boy, his family and officers.  

"We can only hope the Rice family and their attorneys will use a portion of this settlement to help educate the youth of Cleveland in the dangers associated with the mishandling of both real and facsimile firearms. Something positive must come from this tragic loss."

Under the settlement, Rice’s estate will receive $5.5 million, and his mother and sister will get $250,000 each. A probate judge must still approve the deal.

Mayor Frank Jackson says there are no winners in this case because a child needlessly lost his life. And he says the city must weather the settlement’s $6 million impact.

“So we’ll pay $3 million a year for two years. And we have a budget of $560-something million, and we would have liked to have stretched it out longer, but that’s the way it happened.”

It’s one of the largest settlements in the city’s history. Under the agreement there is no admission of wrong-doing by the city or the officers. 

Jackson also said the city expects to have its disciplinary investigation of the officers completed by the end of the year. The Justice Department is looking into possible federal civil rights violations. Last year a grand jury decided not to indict the officers, sparking protests. Jackson says regardless of the legalities, the shooting should not have happened.

"A 12-year-old died, and regardless of fault or facts or anything, that should not have happened.  And believe me, if I had my rathers, I wouldn’t be standing here in front of you talking about this. If I had my rathers, it should not have happened. But that’s not the case, is it. So we deal with things as we have to deal with them.”

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