The mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old Cleveland boy shot to death by police last year, said Tuesday that despite the mayor's apology for an "insensitive" description of her son in a legal filing, what she really wanted was condolences for her son's death.
"I have yet not received an apology from police or the city of Cleveland to the killing of my son, and it hurts," Samaria Rice said in a news conference, flanked by her lawyers.
The lawyers, Benjamin Crump and Walter Madison, blasted the city for what they described as a pattern of disrespectful responses to Tamir's death. "That pattern of disrespect continues today, when they try to justify what happened in any way other than to say, 'We were wrong, we were at fault and we want to try to heal this family,'" Crump said.
Tamir Rice was killed Nov. 22 while playing with a pellet gun in the Cudell Recreation Center playground. Two police officers, believing the pellet gun was real, approached in a patrol car. Within two seconds of stopping, one of the officers, rookie cop Timothy Loehmann, shot him, according to security camera footage of the incident. Tamir died the next day.
Tamir's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Cleveland Police Department. On Friday, lawyers for the city responded in court filings that Tamir's injuries were caused by him failing to "exercise due care."
That triggered a new round of outrage against the city. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson apologized on Monday for what he called "very insensitive" language, and said the city would file an amended response to the Rice family lawsuit that would deal with "the language and the characterization that we used."
Madison said the response showed that the city sought to "heap adult-like responsibility on children."
The shooting is being investigated by the investigation of the shooting to the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office. A grand jury is expected to consider charges against the officers.