Cochran Firm attorneys Shean Williams and Stanley Jackson of The Cochran Firm Cleveland announced on Thursday (7/21/2022) that they will be seeking a $20 million settlement for the family of Tamia Chappman as well as demanding accountability for the officers involved in her death. 13-year-old Tamia was killed on December 20, 2019, when officers followed a suspected stolen vehicle in a high-speed pursuit. The driver of the stolen vehicle that struck Tamia, 15-year-old D’Shaun McNear, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The police chase reached speeds of more than 89 miles an hour on Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland. The family’s lawsuit has been pending for more than two years in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. The attorneys have given the city 30 days to respond.
Despite promising the family an independent and thorough investigation, Cochran Firm attorney Shean Williams calls the investigation incomplete. One of the officers involved in the chase, Lt. Gregory Farmer, was the lead investigator. He failed to interview witnesses, did not speak to the other involved officers for on-the-record testimonies, and did not seek out surveillance camera footage until months after the incident. Moreover, the automatic vehicle location system was not working in any of the patrol cars involved, meaning that supervisors were unable to estimate speeds and locations of the vehicles involved in the pursuit.
“We’re here asking the mayor, the City Council, the law department to do the right thing, to hold these officers in the city accountable for what happened to Tamia.”- Attorney Shean Williams
A spokeswoman for Mayor Justin Bibb, Sarah Johnson, has said that the administration cannot comment on pending litigation and an attorney representing the city in the matter has declined to comment.
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