The head of the Cleveland police union has an idea for what the family of slain 12-year-old Tamir Rice should do with a portion of the $6 million settlement it is set to receive as part of an agreement with the city of Cleveland.
In a statement to the media following news of the settlement, made public on Monday in court filings, Stephen Loomis, the president of the Cleveland Police’s Patrolmen’s Association, said he hopes the family uses some of the funds on gun education for young people like Rice.
“Something positive must come from this tragic loss,” Loomis wrote in his one-page missive, first reported on by Cleveland.com. “That would be educating youth of the dangers of possessing a real or replica firearm.”
Rice died in November 2014 after being gunned down in a park by police officer Timothy Loehmann, who alongside partner Frank Garmback was dispatched to a park where the boy had been playing, all after a 911 caller reported seeing him brandishing a gun, which turned out to be a toy.
A grand jury led by Cuyanoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty, who recently lost his bid for re-election, refused to indict either officer for Rice’s death, following proceedings and tactics that were largely for show.
The amount of Monday’s settlement, which was reached between the city and the Rice family to bring to an end a federal lawsuit against Loehmann and Garmback, is on par with other settlements reached in other high-profile cases of police brutality.
Under the terms of the Rice settlement, which has yet to be approved by a judge, $5.5 million would go to the boy’s estate, $250,000 to his mother Samaria and $250,000 to his sister, according to Reuters.
Some of this money, Loomis said, should go to helping “to educate the youth of Cleveland in the dangers associated with the mishandling” of guns, no matter if they’re real or fake.
“We look forward to the possibility of working with the Rice family to achieve this common goal,” Loomis wrote.
This wouldn’t be the first time Loomis adds controversy to the case. In an interview with POLITICO Magazine in 2015, he suggested Rice was partly to blame for the way police responded in their fatal encounter with him.
“Tamir Rice is in the wrong,” he said. “He’s menacing. He’s 5-feet-7, 191 pounds. He wasn’t that little kid you’re seeing in pictures. He’s a 12-year-old in an adult body.”
No word on whether the cops will take similar education.