The city of Cleveland will, contingent on approval from a Cuyahoga County Probate Court judge, pay $6 million to Tamir Rice's family to settle their federal lawsuit after the boy was killed by a police officer in November 2014:
The settlement, announced Monday, does not resolve all of the lingering legal issues surrounding the 12-year-old's killing. However, it is a sign that both the city and the boy's family did not want to endure what could be tension-filled litigation process that could last years.Mychal Denzel Smith once wrote: "Justice for Renisha would have looked like Michael Brown being able to attend college. Justice for Trayvon would have looked like Renisha McBride getting the help she needed the night of her accident. Justice for Oscar Grant would have looked like Trayvon Martin making it home to finish watching the NBA All-Star game, Skittles and iced tea in tow. And so on, and so on. Justice should be the affirmation of our existence."
The settlement was revealed via a court filing from U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, who presided over settlement talks.
Tamir Rice's estate will receive $5.5 million, Samaria Rice, the boy's mother, and his sister Tajai Rice will each receive $250,000. Neither the city nor the officers or dispatchers involved will admit to any wrongdoing. The city will pay $3 million this year and $3 million in 2017.
...Attorneys representing the Rice family say that while the settlement is "historic in financial terms, no amount of money can adequately compensate for the loss of a life."
The statement continues, "in a situation such as this, there is no such thing as closure or justice. Nothing will bring Tamir back. His unnecessary and premature death leaves a gaping hole for those who knew and loved him that can never be filled."
Real justice will be no more death.
This payment, though well deserved and then some, will not give justice to Tamir Rice's family. Justice would be his never having been killed, and never having had to live under the threat of such a possibility, in the first place.
But since basic decency doesn't seem to be enough motivation for cities across the nation to take the necessary steps to ensure there is no more death, perhaps the specter of having to pay out millions of dollars for each death will.