In court documents filed Friday, the City of Cleveland formally denied responsibility for the police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, arguing his death was "directly and proximately caused" by his own actions.
Responding to the Rice family's wrongful death lawsuit, the city listed 20 defenses against their claims, saying, in part, that "all injuries, losses, and damages complained of" were a result of Rice's failure to "exercise due care to avoid injury."
According to that lawsuit, police acted "unreasonably, negligently [and] recklessly" when they shot the boy carrying an airsoft gun in a Cleveland park last November. As evidence of the city's negligence, the suit cites the Justice Department's recent report on excessive force by Cleveland police and the hiring of Rice's shooter, previously assessed by another police force as unfit for duty.
Attorney Walter Madison, who represents the Rice family, reaffirmed his belief in the lawsuit's merit Friday, telling The Plain Dealer, "I do believe that a 12-year-old child died unnecessarily at the hands of Cleveland police officers and I do believe that certain officers shouldn't have been entitled to wear the uniform."
[Image via AP Images]