Earlier today the city of Cleveland agreed to pay the family of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy fatally shot by police, $6 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit. In response to news of the settlement Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association association president Steve Loomis managed to say something as horrible as the Cleveland EMS captain who said Rice "should have been shot." Loomis suggested the Rice family use the settlement money to teach kids about both fake and real guns reports Cleveland.com.
The tone deaf comments from Loomis show how Cleveland authorities, and many others like them, still haven't learned a thing as they continue to blame Rice for his own death and not police. How else can you explain the 66-year-old white woman who pointed a realistic-looking gun at police while yelling "Boom" walking away alive but a 25-year-old black woman holding a toy gun being shot dead by police?
In November 2014, officer Timothy Loehmann and officer Frank Garmback answered to a call about a male being armed at the Cudell Recreation Center. Immediately upon arriving on the scene Loehmann opened fired on Rice "within two seconds" of opening his car door reports ABC News. Rice's gun was later discovered to have been fake. Rice died the day after being shot.
Loehmann and Garmback are a part of the CPPA.
As Cleveland.com reports Loomis defended Loehmann's and Garmback's action saying that police can't tell real guns apart from toy guns. Because of this, Loomis is essentially suggesting Rice’s family teach kids to not play with fake guns before they get themselves killed, again.
"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," said Loomis in a statement released Monday. "Something positive must come from this tragic loss. That would be educating youth of the dangers of possessing a real or replica firearm."
The Rice family's attorney, Subodh Chandra, who earlier today said the settlement wasn't a cause for celebration because it was at the unnecessary expense of Tamir Rice's life, responded to Loomis' comments in an emailed statement.
According to Cleveland.com Chandra said, "Loomis's continued posturing shows he and the union still don't comprehend that the police division needs a cultural change—not hiring incompetents, better training, and greater accountability. We're all still in trouble if Loomis's attitude reflects rank-and-file officers' attitudes."
Here's the CPPA statement in full: