The head of the Cleveland Police Union released a statement on Monday putting the onus on 12-year-old Tamir Rice’s family for gun education efforts in the wake of the boy’s fatal shooting at the hands of two officers, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported.
The statement from Steve Loomis came after the announcement that city officials had reached a $6 million settlement with the family in connection with the 2014 shooting.
“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,” Loomis said.
Rice was carrying an air pistol with the orange safety tip removed when Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback drove up to him and Loehmann shot and killed him in only seconds.
“Something positive must come from this tragic loss,” Loomis’ statement read. “That would be educating youth of the dangers of possessing a real or replica firearm.”
Both the police and then-Cuyahoga County District Attorney Tim McGinty were criticized after a grand jury opted not to charge the two officers. The settlement frees the two officers from any future claims.
McGinty subsequently lost his bid for re-election to challenger Mike O’Malley in a Democratic primary election last month.
Earlier this year, the city attempted to take Rice’s family to court over the $500 fee for the emergency medical service that responded to the shooting, and another officer, Matt Cicero, was caught insulting Rice’s mother Samaria Rice online, posting, “Raise your kids not to play with fake guns stupid b*tch.”
[h/t Think Progress]