The video above shows Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announcing the $6 million settlement for the November 2014 shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice at the hands of Cleveland police.
The Rice family sued the city of Cleveland, the officers, and the dispatchers for wrongful death after a grand jury declined to indict Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson says an internal review is underway to determine if any disciplinary action will be taken against the officers, even though the settlement does not acknowledge any wrongdoing.
Rice family attorney Zoe Salzman joined guest host Angela Rae on NewsOne Now to discuss the multi-million dollar settlement, what the settlement actually means for the Rice family, and if the wrongful death suit was the only legal option left for the family.
Salzman told Rae, “The settlement resolves the federal civil rights lawsuit” filed by the Rice family in their attempt to get justice for Tamir Rice. She added the lawsuit was also an attempt to force the Cleveland Police Department to be held accountable for the actions of their officers and to “prevent this from ever happening to any other family in America.”
Though the City of Cleveland decided to settle, Salzman said, “There is really no amount of money that can make things right for them; they lost a son, they lost a brother, and they lost him when he was 12 years old.”
“It’s just something that no family should ever have to experience.”
When asked why the Rice family opted to file a civil suit against the City of Cleveland, Salzman said, “Tamir’s case is somewhat different in that there never was a fair trial in the criminal justice system, because the former local prosecutor in Cleveland made it his mission to exonerate these officers and he really mishandled the grand jury process.”
The grand jury proceedings resulted in “no justice at all” and they asked the federal Department of Justice to come in to conduct an impartial investigation because they “did not get justice on the local level.”
Salzman also said while “Tamir’s case while particularly egregious,” it stands out as “part of a pattern of excessive force that’s really plaguing our nation right now and there does need to be a broader response” to police misconduct.
“One of the big reasons Tamir’s family brought this case is to shine a spotlight on this sort of police excessive force and to really, hopefully, build a platform for broader change,” Salzman said.
Watch guest host Angela Rae, Rice family attorney Zoe Salzman, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the $6 million settlement in the Tamir Rice case in the video clip above.
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