WHY THIS TAMIR RICE SETTLEMENT FEELS HOLLOW?

Tamir-Rice

Courtesy of Madame Noire

All day I’ve been looking at the news of Tamir Rice’s family receiving a settlement from the city of Cleveland. I’ve been debating on whether or not I should report on it. Truth be told, I really had no interest in it.

After an innocent, 12-year-old Tamir was killed by police in November 2014 when his toy gun was mistaken for a real one, his family filed a federal lawsuit against the city. According to CNN, today, the city settled, awarding them $6 million.

According to terms of the settlement, the city acknowledges no fault in Tamir’s death. Not only is the city not held responsible, you may remember that a grand jury failed to indict officers Timothy Lehmann and Fran Garmback, the two men who shot and killed Rice within seconds of pulling up on the scene. The 911 dispatcher who failed to inform officers that the gun might be fake was not held responsible either.

So, if the dispatcher who didn’t present all the facts, the officers who murdered him in broad daylight, and not even the city of Cleveland itself, the city who employed all three of these individuals at the time of Tamir’s murder, are at fault, who is?

Who is to blame for this 12-year-old losing his life for doing what children do?

This is why I kept rolling my eyes when I saw the story.

I’m sure $6 million will help the Rice family out quite a bit. But Tamir’s life was worth so much more than that. It was priceless. And they’ve reduced it to a measly $6 million, paid by taxpayers whose sons might one day find their lives threatened or taken in the very same way. And no one will be held responsible.

I hesitated to write this because while some are interpreting this as a level of justice, it feels like an offering of shut up money and a condescending pat on the back.

What do you think of this settlement? Does it represent justice for Tamir’s death?