Today, the city of Cleveland announced that it would pay Tamir Rice's family $6 million as part of a settlement decision over the 2014 shooting and subsequent death of the 12-year-old by Timothy Loehmann, a Cleveland police officer.
Following the news of the city's settlement, Steve Loomis, president of the city's Police Patrolman's Association, penned an open letter expressing the police force's feelings on the decision and its hopes for the Rice family going forward.
"We have maintained from the onset this has been an absolute tragedy for the Rice family as well as our involved Officers and their families," Loomis said. "We can only hope the Rice family and their attorneys will use a portion of this settlement to help educate the youth of Cleveland in the dangers associated with the mishandling of both real and facsimile firearms."
Tamir Rice was fatally shot by Timothy Loehmann in November 2014 after the officer was called to the scene of a playground by a citizen who believed the toy gun Rice was pointing was "probably fake." As seen in shocking security camera footage, Loehmann almost immediately fired upon the boy playing in the snow with a pellet gun as he stepped out of his police cruiser. Two seconds after Loehmann arrived on the scene, Tamir Rice was dead on the ground.
Cleveland.com correctly points out that Loomis' latest statements continue in a long line of the public official effectively blaming the Rice family.
"Something positive must come from this tragic loss," Loomis said. "That would be educating youth of the dangers of possessing a real or replica firearm. We look forward to the possibility of working with the Rice family to achieve this common goal."