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Independent Experts Conclude that the Police Shooting of 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice Was Unreasonable

On November 27, 2015, ECBAWM sent a letter to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty, enclosing two independent expert reports which both conclude that the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by Cleveland police on November 22, 2014 was unreasonable, unjustified, and a departure from accepted police practices.

The first report is by Jeffrey Noble, who was a police officer for 28 years, including serving as Deputy Chief of Police of Irvine and Westminster, in California.  Mr. Noble has extensive experience has an expert on police use of force and has been retained as an expert by many police departments across the country, including Chicago, San Francisco, and Austin.  The second report is by Roger Clark, who is a 27-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  Mr. Clark has been recognized as an expert in the police use of force in courts across the country and his work has been heavily relied on by courts, including the Fifth and Ninth Circuits Courts of Appeals.  Both Mr. Clark and Mr. Noble strenuously disagree with the conclusions of the so-called experts put forth by Prosecutor McGinty, who concluded the shooting of Tamir Rice was reasonable and justified.  Based on the available evidence, both Mr. Clark and Mr. Noble conclude that this shooting was unreasonable, criticizing both the tactics that led to the officers pulling up and immediately shooting Tamir within 1.7 seconds, and the fact that Tamir did not pose a threat at the time the officers arrived.

ECBAWM called on Prosecutor McGinty to present Mr. Noble and Mr. Clark to the grand jury that is currently convened to examine whether criminal charges should be brought against the police officers who killed Tamir.

Read the Jeffrey Noble report here and the Roger Clark report here and the ECBAWM letter to Prosecutor McGinty here.

ECBAWM attorneys Jonathan S. Abady, Earl S. Ward, and Zoe Salzman represent the mother, sister, and estate administrator of Tamir Rice.

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Tamir Rice’s Family Criticizes Prosecutor’s Release of Another Improper “Expert” Report

On November 16, 2015, ECBAWM sent a letter to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty, criticizing his decision to release a third supposed “expert” report purporting to exonerate the Cleveland police officers who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice on November 22, 2014.

Like the other pro-police, so-called “expert” reports released by Prosecutor McGinty so far, this latest report relies on improper speculation and rubber stamps the officers’ blatantly improper tactics.  It also goes so far as to blame 12-year-old Tamir Rice for his own death and to equate the “tragedy” of “the possibility of loss of career” for the police officers with the “tragic loss of life” of Tamir Rice.

The letter ends by renewing the Rice family’s call for McGinty to step aside and let an independent special prosecutor take over this case because his handling of this case no longer has any credibility.

This letter follows letters sent by ECBAWM on October 16 and November 9 criticizing Prosecutor McGinty’s handling of the investigation into Tamir Rice’s death.

Read ECBAWM’s November 16 letter to Prosecutor McGinty here.

Read ECBAWM’s November 9  letter to Prosecutor McGinty here.

Read ECBAWM’s October 16  letter to Prosecutor McGinty here.

ECBAWM attorneys Jonathan S. Abady, Earl S. Ward, and Zoe Salzman represent the mother, sister, and estate administrator of Tamir Rice.

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Tamir Rice’s Family Criticizes Prosecutor’s Inappropriate Comments

On November 9, 2015, ECBAWM sent a letter to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty, criticizing the inappropriate comments he made last week about Samaria Rice, the mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice who was shot and killed by Cleveland police last year.

The letter renews the Rice family’s call that a special prosecutor be appointed, because Prosecutor McGinty’s “public comments impugning the integrity of Ms. Rice and her representatives have now resulted in a situation where your office has not only made a decision to present biased and discredited ‘expert’ testimony to the grand jury, but you are now taking the remarkable tact of attacking the motives of a grieving crime victim and her attorneys who are attempting to secure justice for her and her family.  Your office’s handling of this matter has now raised an unmistakable appearance of bias and impropriety.”

This letter follows another letter sent by ECBAWM on October 16, criticizing Prosecutor McGinty’s release of two biased, pro-police reports that purported to justify the shooting.

Read ECBAWM’s November 9  letter to Prosecutor McGinty here.

Read ECBAWM’s October 16  letter to Prosecutor McGinty here.

ECBAWM attorneys Jonathan S. Abady, Earl S. Ward, and Zoe Salzman represent the mother, sister, and estate administrator of Tamir Rice.

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Tamir Rice’s Family Calls for Special Prosecutor to Proceed with Criminal Charges against Police

ECBAWM represents the mother, sister, and estate administrator of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed by Cleveland police officers in November 2014 while he was playing in the park.  On October 16, 2015, ECBAWM sent a letter on behalf of Tamir’s family to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty, criticizing his handling of the criminal investigation into the police officers who killed Tamir and calling for appointment of an independent special prosecutor.

The letter criticizes the prosecutor’s 11-month delay in presenting this case to a grand jury and condemns his decision to retain pro-police “experts” and release their reports exculpating the officers to the media.  The letter documents that the prosecutor’s so-called “experts” have a track-record of bias in favor of the police.  It also lays out some of the many legal and factual errors in their reports, including that they ignored contradictory video evidence, the fact that the shooter’s prior employer found him emotionally unfit to be a police officer, and the Department of Justice’s finding that the Cleveland police have a pattern of using excessive force.

Because of the way the prosecutor has handled the case so far, the Rice family now believes that the grand jury presentation will be nothing short of a charade aimed at whitewashing this police killing of a 12-year-old child.

Read ECBAWM’s letter to Prosecutor McGinty here.

Read some of the coverage about the letter in the Washington Post.
To read the New York Times‘ coverage click here.
To read the Wall Street Journal‘s coverage click here.

ECBA attorneys Jonathan S. Abady, Earl S. Ward, and Zoe Salzman represent the mother, sister, and estate administrator of Tamir Rice.

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Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel LLP Now Lead Counsel in Tamir Rice Police Shooting

Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel LLP (ECBAWM) is lead counsel representing the Estate of Tamir Rice. Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old child, was tragically shot and killed by Cleveland police officers on November 22, 2014 in a case which has now received widespread attention across the nation. The firm also represents Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, and his sister.  ECBAWM is co-counseling the case with The Chandra Law Firm, LLC from Cleveland, Ohio and FirmEquity of Chicago, Illinois.

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ECBAWM attorneys represent the Public Advocate in an action to unseal grand jury materials in the Eric Garner case

ECBAWM on behalf of the New York City Public Advocate, Letitia James, filed an action to unseal grand jury materials related to the killing of Eric Garner by NYPD officers in Staten Island. On December 10, 2014, Richmond County Supreme Court Justice Stephen Rooney ordered that Ms. James’s motion must itself be filed in secret and withheld from the public. Ms. James then lodged an emergency appeal with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Second Department, which swiftly ruled in her favor and directed that her motion be disclosed and made available to the public. In the wake of this ruling, Justice Rooney has scheduled a public hearing for December 19, 2014 on whether to unseal grand jury materials related to the death of Eric Garner. ECBAWM attorneys Matthew D. Brinckerhoff and R. Orion Danjuma are representing the Public Advocate in this action.

To read The New York Law Journal coverage, click here. To read The New York Observer coverage, click here.

 

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New York City and Officer Found Liable in Fatal ’05 Shooting of Leonel Disla

After less than an hour of deliberations, a unanimous jury in Bronx Supreme Court found New York City and an NYPD Sergeant liable for the shooting death of 19-yr old Leonel Disla on October 30, 2005. Ilann M. Maazel, Zoe Salzman and paralegal Ian Wahrenbrock represented the Disla family at trial. Prior ECBAWM lawyers and paralegals who represented the Disla estate include Matthew D. Brinckerhoff, Earl Ward, Elora Mukherjee, Alba Morales, Leda DeRosa, and Jessica Buchanan.

To read more, click here.

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Emery Celli Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Rikers Inmate Who Died After Seven Days in Solitary Confinement Without Medical Care

ECBAWM, together with the Legal Aid Society’s Prisoners’ Rights Project (“PRP”) filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Beverly Ann Griffin, the mother of Bradley Ballard, a 39-year-old man suffering from schizophrenia and diabetes, who died on Rikers Island last year after he was improperly placed in solitary confinement and then inexplicably denied food, water, his medication, and other medical and mental health care for seven days. The City Medical Examiner ruled Mr. Ballard’s death a homicide. The lawsuit names as defendants the City of New York; several current and former high-ranking Department of Correction Officials; Corizon, the private corporation responsible for health care at Rikers Island; and the health care and correction workers responsible for Mr. Ballard’s care during the period of neglect. In an emotional press conference, Ms. Griffin told the City, “You are there to correct the inmate, not to destroy him.” Ms. Griffin is represented by ECBAWM’s Jonathan S. Abady and Hayley Horowitz, along with PRP’s Jonathan Chasan and Mary Lynne Werlwas.

To read the Complaint, click here. To read the New York Times’ story on this case, click here. The New York Daily News covered Mr. Ballard’s case and the City’s refusal to defend Corizon here.

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City Agrees to $2.75 million Settlement in Death of Rikers Island Inmate, Ronald Spear

The City of New York has agreed to pay $2.75 million to settle a lawsuit brought by John Daniels, the father of Ronald Spear, a 52-year old man who was beaten to death by corrections officers while being held at Rikers Island. Mr. Spear, who suffered from chronic kidney disease, was killed after he requested medical treatment on December 19, 2012. Autopsy records revealed that Mr. Spear suffered blunt force trauma to his body and head. The City Medical Examiner ruled Mr. Spear’s death a homicide. Mr. Daniels is represented by ECBAWM’s Jonathan S. Abady and Zoe Salzman, along with co-counsel Jonathan Chasan and Mary Lynne Werlwas of the Legal Aid Society’s Prisoners’ Rights Project (PRP).

To read more about the case, click here.

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