Cleveland agrees to pay $4.8M to family of teen fatally struck during high-speed police chase

Francis Akhalbey May 06, 2024
Tamia Chappman, 13, was fatally struck during a high-speed police pursuit -- Photo Credit: Stanley Jackson Esq. / CNN

The city of Cleveland, Ohio, has reached a $4.8 million settlement with the family of a 13-year-old girl who was fatally struck by a car involved in a high-speed police chase. Per CNN, the fatal incident occurred in December 2019.

The victim, identified as Tamia Chappman, and her friends were walking on a sidewalk when she was fatally struck by a vehicle that was engaged in a high-speed pursuit with Cleveland police officers.

The pursuit is said to have ensued after a 72-year-old woman became a victim of an armed carjacking, the city said in a statement. “They were arrested, later convicted of crimes related to both incidents, and are currently serving decades-long prison sentences,” the statement said.

“The criminals were quickly identified and cowardly chose to flee from police leading to the tragic death of an innocent 13-year-old girl,” Cleveland spokesperson Sarah Johnson added in the statement.

The settlement also comes after Chappman’s family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against 22 Cleveland officers in 2020, per CNN. The deceased teen’s family in the lawsuit labeled the pursuit as “egregiously reckless and unnecessary.”

Court records also showed Chapman’s family and the city of Cleveland “mutually (dismissed) all claims against each other with prejudice” on April 22, 2024. “We felt that resolving this case at this point would be best for the family,” attorney Stanley Jackson said, adding that the amount is Ohio’s largest police-pursuit settlement.

“We believe that shows, that Tamia’s life mattered and will change how Cleveland, and other area police departments, go about their business as it relates to the value of life and property,” said Jackson. 

Johnson also said the settlement agreement “was an extremely difficult one.” “On one hand, you have police officers who were trying to do their job to remove violent armed individuals from the streets so they couldn’t victimize more people and commit additional violent crimes. On the other hand, a 13-year-old girl was tragically killed leaving her family, friends, and entire community in heartbreak.”

“I’ll never get my daughter back,” Tamia’s mother, Sherrie Chappman, said despite settling. “But “I feel OK about it, and I just really want the police to stop the chases.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 6, 2024


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