Police: Boy Shot By Cops Was Responsible For His Own Death [Update]

Photo via AP Images.
The city of Cleveland argues that Tamir Rice "directly and proximately caused" his own death, in court documents filed Friday. Rice was a 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed in November by police officers while he was holding a pellet gun.

UPDATE: On Monday, one of the Rice family's attorneys, Walter Madison, responded in an interview with the The Washington Post. He said: “What they said is incredulous at best. It’s unbelievable... There are a number of things that we in society don’t allow 12-year-olds to do. We don’t allow them to vote, we don’t allow them to drink. In court we don’t try them as adults. They don’t have the capacity to understand the consequences of their actions.”

Cleveland is defending itself against a wrongful death claim filed by Rice's family. Rice's parents accuse the city of using excessive force, ignoring Rice's medical needs after he was shot, and failing to conduct a fair investigation of the incident, among other claims.

In its defense, the city wrote that Rice didn't "exercise due care," and denied any responsibility for the boy's death, saying the shooting was caused by Rice's own actions. 

On November 22, 2014, two officers were called to a recreation center where Rice was holding a pellet gun — which the officers claim to have believed was real. A video recording of the incident shows the officers get out of their car and shoot Rice within two seconds. He died at the hospital the next day. 

Rice's 14-year-old sister was also tackled by police and put in a patrol car when she tried to run to her brother after he was shot. 
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