Cleveland to pay $4.8M to family of teen killed by stolen car during police chase

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland will pay $4.8 million to the family of a 13-year-old girl killed when a stolen car driven by a teenage carjacker jumped a curb during a police pursuit and struck her.

The settlement attorneys for the family announced Monday is one of the largest in Ohio involving a police chase. Sarah Johnson, a city spokesperson, said the decision to settle this case was “an extremely difficult one,” noting the circumstances involved.

“The City had to consider all relevant factors prior to this outcome, including a potential trial and additional costs, but we want to be clear that there are no winners or losers in a case as tragic as this one," Johnson said, "and — while it is easy to point fingers one way or another — the fact remains that if the armed carjacker never committed that crime then Tamia would still be here with us today.”

Tamia Chappman was killed in December 2019 when a car driven by a 15-year-old boy struck her as she walked from school to a library in East Cleveland. The driver of the stolen car was charged as an adult and is now serving a prison term.

The carjacking had occurred roughly 15 miles (25 kilometers) away in Cleveland. The police pursuit began after an off-duty Cleveland officer witnessed the carjacking and followed the vehicle, authorities said.

Chappman's family had filed a wrongful death suit in 2020 that named 22 Cleveland police officers who their attorneys said were involved in the pursuit.

“I’ll never get over it,” Sherrie Chappman, Tamia’s mother, said about her daughter’s death during a news conference Monday. “I miss my daughter. We will never get her back. I don’t want anyone’s kids to get hurt. Stop the chases!”