Tag: wrongful death lawsuit

Samaria Rice to Open Tamir Rice Cultural Center in Cleveland in 2019

Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice (photo via ohio.com)

by Angela Helm via theroot.com

Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old who was gunned down on a playground by an erratic “officer of the law” in 2014, is mending her heartbreak by opening a cultural center in the name of her son.

The Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center will honor Tamir’s legacy by operating as a place of refuge for black children in Cleveland, a space where they can participate in visual art, drama, music, as well as teaching them civics as well. “Nobody is talking about Tamir anymore in Cleveland,” said Samaria. “And that’s sad.”

Through the Tamir Rice Foundation, Samaria has already purchased a building for the center, and, in addition to serving the children’s artistic ambitions (Tamir, she said, loved to draw cartoons and make pottery), the young people who come through its doors will be mentored on how to “dissect and participate in political systems,” something the 41-year-old mother of three says she had to learn, after her son was killed as he played.

Rice has already faced opposition to opening the center, a baffling notion, given what she has been through, but according to a recent profile by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, someone recently put superglue in all of the locks on the 3,500-square-foot former newspaper building.

“I don’t pay no attention to them,” she said. “They can’t beat me for the simple fact that their child wasn’t killed by the state. I’m going to do it through the grace of God and I’m going to do it because the city of Cleveland gave me no choice but to do it as far as building my son’s legacy and keeping his legacy alive.”

Next month, Rice is throwing a “Sweet Sixteen” party for the birthday Tamir will never see. She seeks to raise $21,000 to help renovate the space, including new windows, and a stage for performances. She purchased the building in March for $162,680, using part of the $6 million settlement of the wrongful death suit she’d filed against the city and the two officers involved (none of whom faced a day in jail). The Plain Dealer reports that after lawyer’s fees and costs and payments to other relatives, Tamir’s estate was left with about $1.8 million.

Samaria Rice hopes to complete work and open the center in 2019.

Tickets for June 14 fundraiser at the Cleveland Museum of Art are $55  and contributions to the renovation are also being collected online.

To read full article, go to: https://www.theroot.com/samaria-rice-to-open-tamir-rice-cultural-center-for-cle-1826177821

Sandra Bland’s Family Settles Wrongful Death Suit in Texas For $1.9 Million

Newsworthy
(Source: Keith Getter / Getty)

article via theurbandaily.com

The family of Sandra Bland has settled a wrongful death suit with officials in Waller County, Texas, for $1.9 million, reports CNN.

The amount includes payment for Bland’s death as well as several changes to jail procedures, notes the report.  The case became a rallying call in the push for criminal justice reform after the 28-year-old Illinois woman was found dead in a jail cell, three days after she was arrested for failing to use her turn signal in July 2015. Many of the activists argued that she should not have been arrested on a minor traffic infraction or jailed in the first place.

The family’s lawyer, Cannon Lambert, said the final details of the agreement were hammered out on Wednesday night, writes CNN:

Some of the jail procedure changes included in the settlement are:

— Using automated electronic sensors to ensure timely cell checks

— Providing an on-duty staff nurse or emergency medical technician for all shifts

— Providing continuing education for jailer screening

In addition, “the Waller County judge will be seeking passage of state legislation for more funding for local jails regarding intake and booking, screening and other jail support,” the attorney said.

Brian Encinia, the Texas state trooper who arrested her, was “fired after he was indicted on a perjury charge,” notes CNN. And a Waller County jail worker admitted to falsifying log entries showing that he checked on Bland an hour before her death.

Family of Avonte Oquendo Settles Wrongful Death Suit against NYC, Receives $2,700,000

Avonte Oquendo
Avonte Oquendo (photo via FACEBOOK)

article by Breanna Edwards via theroot.com

The city of New York is paying out $2.7 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the mother of Avonte Oquendo, the 14 year-old autistic child whose body was found in New York’s East River in January 2014 three months after he disappeared from his Queens, N.Y., school, the New York Daily News reports.

The suit accused school officials and the New York Police Department’s school safety division of negligence for not monitoring the exit doors of the school and not properly supervising Avonte, who was nonverbal and also had a history of being a flight risk.

“The loss of a child is a tragedy no family should endure, and hopefully, the resolution of this legal matter will bring some measure of solace to Avonte’s family.” the city’s Law Department spokesperson, Nicholas Paolucci, said.

“The Department of Education has taken a number of steps and is dedicated to taking every measure possible to prevent something like this from occurring again,” Paolucci added.

To read full article, go to: http://www.theroot.com/articles/news/2016/07/new-yorck-city-settles-with-family-of-avonte-oquendo-for-2700000

Tamir Rice’s Family Settles With Cleveland for $6 Million in Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Tamir Rices family and the city of Cleveland, reached a $6 million settlement on Monday in a wrongful death lawsuit, ABC News reports.

Subodh Chandra, the family attorney, described the settlement as historic, according to ABC News.  But he added, via the Associated Press“The resolution is nothing to celebrate because a 12-year-old child needlessly lost his life.”

Tamir was playing with a pellet gun at a Cleveland recreational center when Police Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback shot him in November 2014. A video captured the moment when their patrol car, responding to a 911 call, pulls up to Tamir and Loehmann shoots the boy within seconds. They reportedly were not aware that a witness said the gun was probably a fake and Tamir looked like a juvenile.

The fatal shooting contributed to the national outcry against excessive police force in regards to Black males and protests in Cleveland. In that tense atmosphere, a grand jury declined to charge the officers. Meanwhile, a federal civil rights investigation is pending.

Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, said the two officers failed to administer first aid and caused intentional distress by the way they mistreated her and her daughter following the shooting, ABC News reports. Her wrongful death suit targeted the officers, dispatchers, and Cleveland.

The network reports that the U.S. District Court filed an ordered saying that Cleveland will pay Tamir’s estate $3 million this year and the remainder in 2017. Cleveland did not admit to wrongdoing.

Chicago Mayor to Release Footage of Ronald Johnson Police Shooting

Ronald Johnson's mother Dorothy Holmes fights to have police video of her son's shooting released. (photo via CNN.com)
Ronald Johnson’s mother Dorothy Holmes fights to have police video of her son’s shooting released. (photo via CNN.com)

A year after backlash from the family and supporters of Ronald Johnson III, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced dash cam footage of the Chicago man’s fatal encounter with police in 2014 will be released next week.

Johnson, 25, was fatally shot by Officer George Hernandez eight days before the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The Chicago Tribune reports:

On the night he was killed, Johnson was in a car with friends when the vehicle’s back window was shot out by an unidentified gunman. Chicago police have said that Johnson, a known gang member, resisted arrest when officers responded to the call of shots fired and then ran.

During the chase, Hernandez, at the time a tactical officer in the Wentworth Police District, pulled up in an unmarked squad car and jumped out with his gun drawn, Oppenheimer said. The video, which Oppenheimer said he has seen many times, shows that within two seconds of getting out of his car, Hernandez fired five times at Johnson as he was still running away, striking him in the back of the knee and again in the back of the shoulder.

Autopsy results obtained by the Tribune show the fatal shot traveled through Johnson’s shoulder, severed his jugular vein and exited his eye socket.

Continue reading “Chicago Mayor to Release Footage of Ronald Johnson Police Shooting”

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