CLEVELAND — It’s been a year since the death of 13-year-old Tamia “Mimi” Chappman.
According to investigators, someone driving a stolen SUV ran over and killed her while being chased by Cleveland Police.
The December 2019 pursuit ended in East Cleveland shortly after the teen left school for the day.
“We're here today as we celebrate her life but mourn her death,” family attorney Stanley Jackson said.
Earlier this month, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams told News 5 the officers involved were doing what was necessary to catch a group of people who carjacked a woman in a Target parking lot, but Chappman’s family argue the Cleveland Division of Police violated due regard for public safety - a violation of state law.
“We miss my daughter very much and I just want the police to stop chasing,” said Sherrie Chappman. “Stop the chase and get to the bottom of it to figure out what happened to her.”
Investigators stated the stolen SUV hit another car on Euclid Avenue while the driver was being chased. A vehicle then careened onto the sidewalk, hitting and killing the teen.
“These children were getting out of school,” Jackson said. “So at 2:30 or 3:00, kids are coming home from school and you're chasing on a main road?”
Jackson said the Office of Professional Standards is reviewing the case for police misconduct and should report the findings of its investigation in mid-January.
“They will find that these officers did not follow their policy, that most of them probably didn't know the policy and had never practiced an actual chase,” Jackson said.
Chappman’s family argues the officers valued property over a person the day Chappman was killed.
“A police chase almost always ends with an innocent bystander being injured. The chase must stop, simply,” Jackson said. “The chase must stop and that our children that are our community are irreplaceable. The property. Is replaceable. The people are irreplaceable.”
News 5 requested comment from the Cleveland Division of Police Monday following the Chappman family’s statements, but they referred us to an earlier statement which stated the chase was “by the book” and the 13-year-old’s death was a tragedy.