CLEVELAND (AP) — Police should have ended the high-speed chase of a teenage carjacking suspect that traveled into a neighboring city and ended with a 13-year-old girl’s death, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by the girl’s mother against 22 Cleveland officers.
Tamia Chappman was killed in December when a car that police said was driven by a 15-year-old boy struck Tamia as she walked from school to a library in East Cleveland.
Officers violated state law and departmental policy during the pursuit, the lawsuit filed on behalf of Sherrie Chappman said.
“Tamia Chappman was an innocent little girl who did not deserve to die,” attorney Stanley Jackson said at an online news conference on Thursday.
A Cleveland police spokeswoman declined to comment.
The carjacking occurred roughly 15 miles (25 kilometers) away in Cleveland. Officers began the pursuit after an off-duty Cleveland officer witnessed the carjacking and followed the vehicle.
A 15-year-old passenger pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to four years in a juvenile facility. The suspected driver has pleaded not guilty to charges.
The Cleveland Police Department tightened its pursuit policy after a 2012 chase involving 62 cars ended in East Cleveland, where 13 Cleveland officers fired 137 rounds into a car, killing two unarmed black suspects.
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Source: The Village Reporter