Both the mayor of Cleveland and Benjamin Crump, attorney for the family of Tamir Rice, responded to the city of Cleveland’s incredible claim that the slain 12-year-old was responsible for his own death. Rice was shot dead within seconds by cops as he held a pellet gun in November 2014.
On Friday, the city issued a 41-page report in response to a Rice family lawsuit, stating that all the injuries claimed “were directly and proximately caused by their own acts, not this Defendant.” It also says that the 12-year-old’s shooting death was caused “by the failure … to exercise due care to avoid injury.”
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson backpedaled from the city’s response on Monday and apologized for the city’s “poor use of words and our insensitivity” in the matter, according to CNN.
In using language that is an apparent lesson in damage control 101, they mayor pointedly said that the city’s 41-page response was “hurtful to the family” and “disrespectful to the victim.”
WATCH Roland Martin and the “NewsOne Now” panel discuss Mayor Jackson’s apology
CNN reports that the mayor also offered these words in contrition: “What I care about right now is that the family of Tamir Rice and the people of the city of Cleveland understand and realize that we are sorry for what we have done and that we apologize to them.”
Attorney Crump also had choice words for the city’s claim when he appeared on “NewsOne Now” to discuss Cleveland’s response to the Rice family lawsuit.
Crump told guest host Armstrong Williams that there was a “failure in training, supervision, regulation, but also in hiring.”
“Should this police officer ever had been hired by the city of Cleveland? Just three months prior, he [Police Officer Timothy Loehmann] was forced to resign from another police department that said, ‘He was unfit to be trained, he was unfit to be a police officer,” said Crump.
He added Officer Loehmann had “certain problems he was dealing with” at the Independence City Police Department. His superior officer said that after going through tests and working with him that they “decided that he is unfit to be a police officer, he is untrainable.’”
“NewsOne Now” panelist Angela Rye of Impact Strategies asked Crump, “At what point do you move beyond expecting that we will be able to overcome and fight back and actually win against a case where another one of our children is lost at the hands of police, what do we have to really change in this country?”
Crump responded, “ … the face of police excessive force is the face of a 12-year-old kid … I think the young people framed the issue so well with Mike Brown. They said, ‘Hands up,’ [and] with Trayvon, ‘I am Trayvon.’”
“I don’t know how they will frame this to make it just so clear that there is something wrong here,” said Attorney Crump.
Watch “NewsOne Now” guest host Armstrong Williams, Angela Rye, CEO of Impact Strategies, Monique Pressley, Principal of the Pressley Firm PLLC , Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Irregular Warfare Strategist at Marine Corps University and Attorney Benjamin Crump discuss the Tamir Rice case in the video clip above.
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