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Mom Of 12-Year-Old Killed By Cleveland Police Says She's Still Waiting For Apology

Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir, a 12-year-old boy fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer, speaks during a news conference on Tuesday.
Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir, a 12-year-old boy fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer, speaks during a news conference on Tuesday.

The mother of a 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer says she felt disrespected when the city blamed her son for his own death.

Tamir Rice, if you remember, was playing with a replica gun outside a recreation center when he was shot and killed by a police officer. In a court filing, the city said Tamir was killed because he failed to "exercise due care to avoid injury."

"The city's answer was very disrespectful to my son Tamir," Samaria Rice said during a news conference Tuesday. "I have not received an apology from the the police department or the city of Cleveland in regards to the killing of my son. And it hurts."

As The New York Times reports, Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson apologized for the words used in the filing, calling them a "poor use of words."

"We used words and phrased things in such a way that was very insensitive," Jackson said.

Cleveland.com reports that Rice's lawyers, who are suing the city on behalf of the family, said the bigger problem with the words is that they place a "new standard on our children" to be more like adults.

The news site adds:

"'I challenge anyone to show me a place where we heed adult-like responsibility on 12-year-old children,' [Attorney Walter Madison] said.

"Still, those speaking on Tuesday consistently shifted back to the facts of the case. They again rolled out the surveillance video from the day Tamir was shot by police officer Timothy Loehmann. A timer they placed on the video shows that the officers, after driving up to the pavilion, shot Tamir within less than a second."

Another lawyer for the family, Ben Crump, said the video clearly shows that all the city should be saying is, "We made a mistake."

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