Cleveland will, contingent on approval from a Cuyahoga County Probate Court judge, pay $6 million to Tamir Rice’s family to settle their federal lawsuit after the boy was killed by a police officer in November 2014:
The settlement, announced Monday, does not resolve all of the lingering legal issues surrounding the 12-year-old’s killing. However, it is a sign that both the city and the boy’s family did not want to endure what could be tension-filled and expensive litigation process that could last years.
The settlement was revealed via a court filing from U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, who presided over settlement talks.
Tamir Rice’s estate will receive $5.5 million, Samaria Rice, the boy’s mother, and his sister Tajai Rice will each receive $250,000. Neither the city, officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback nor dispatchers involved will admit to any wrongdoing. The city will pay $3 million this year and $3 million in 2017.
The court filing can be found here.
It’s not enough.
As Mychal Denzel Smith wrote:
Justice for Renisha would have looked like Michael Brown being able to attend college. Justice for Trayvon would have looked like Renisha McBride getting the help she needed the night of her accident. Justice for Oscar Grant would have looked like Trayvon Martin making it home to finish watching the NBA All-Star game, Skittles and iced tea in tow. And so on, and so on. Justice should be the affirmation of our existence.
Real justice will be no more death.
This payment, though well deserved, will not give justice to Tamir’s family. Justice would be his never having been killed by the police, and never having had to live under the threat of such a possibility, in the first place.
But since basic decency doesn’t seem to be enough motivation for American cities to take the necessary steps to ensure there is no more death, perhaps the threat of having to pay out millions of dollars for each death will.