Last Friday, the City of Cleveland answered the wrongful death/civil rights lawsuit filed by Tamir Rice’s family, and part of its defense has caused much anger and consternation, especially to non-lawyers. I find just about everything about the Cleveland PD’s actions in this case—and those of their supporters—to be infuriating, but from my perspective as a lawyer, the defense outlined in their answer seemed like pretty standard legal language to me:
The city, in its response, wrote that Tamir’s death on Nov. 22 and all of the injuries his family claims in the suit “were directly and proximately caused by their own acts, not this Defendant.” It also says that the 12-year-old’s shooting death was caused “by the failure … to exercise due care to avoid injury.”
The response does not explain these defenses in more detail, though 20 defenses are listed in all, including another one that says Tamir died because of “the conduct of individuals or entities other than Defendant.”
If you read the city’s answer, linked in the blockquote above (and also here), you’ll see that the quoted portions come from the city’s “affirmative defenses” on page 38, which read as follows: Continue reading
I’m out of town for a bit, and haven’t seen much in the way of news, but I just learned about the rescue of the three kidnapped women in Cleveland, and I must say that Charles Ramsey, the neighbor who reportedly discovered the three women, sounds like an epic-level bad-ass. Not only did he save the day, but he is refusing any reward money:
The man who is being hailed as a hero for rescuing the lives of three women kidnapped for a decade says that he would like any reward money to be turned over to the victims.
Charles Ramsey became an instant Internet sensation on Monday when he helped free Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus and Michele Knight from the house next to his where they had been trapped for around 10 years.
[CNN’s Anderson] Cooper noted that the FBI had offered a reward for at least two of the victims.
“I tell you what you do, give it to them,” Ramsey said. “Because if folks been following this case since last night, you been following me since last night, you know I got a job anyway.”
“Just went picked it up, paycheck,” he added, producing an envelope from his pocket. “What that address say?”
“Where are them girls living? Right next door to this paycheck. So yes, take that reward and give it to — that little girl came out the house and she was crying.”
We could probably use more people like that in the world.