4-23-24

Cochran Firm attorneys alongside the family of Tamia Chappman announced that they have settled their civil lawsuit with the city of Cleveland. The $4.8 million settlement is believed to be the largest wrongful death settlement involving a pursuit in the state of Ohio.

Cochran Firm attorneys Stanley Jackson and Fanon Rucker speak alongside Chappman's family at recent press conference held outside of Cleveland City Hall

The incident that occurred December 20, 2019 involved a high speed police chase that happened in Cleveland as local schools were being let out, resulting in the wrongful death of 13-year old Tamia Chappman. Chappman was walking to the East Cleveland Public Library when she was struck on the sidewalk. The police chase reached speeds of more than 89 miles an hour on Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland, as officers followed a suspected stolen vehicle in a high-speed pursuit. The driver of the stolen vehicle that struck Tamia, 16-year-old D’Shaun McNear, was sentenced in October 2021 to a prison term of 26 to 31 years, with a minimum time served of 9 years.

In 2022, Cochran Firm attorneys announced that they will be demanding accountability for the officers involved in the death of Tamia Chappman as well as seeking a settlement for her family.

“The city of Cleveland didn’t follow its own policy, didn’t follow its own procedures, didn’t have common sense during the chase, nor any decency when they were involved in it,”

-Stanley Jackson, The Cochran Firm Cleveland

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.

“What we also intend to do is to change the culture, is to change the procedures, is to discourage police officers from engaging in conduct that injures, instead of protects and serves,”

 -Fanon Rucker, The Cochran Firm Cincinnati