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Second teen charged in death of 13-year-old killed during police pursuit

Posted at 12:00 PM, Jan 22, 2020

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — A second teen has been charged with murder in connection to the death of Tamia Chappman, the 13-year-old girl who was killed during a police pursuit while she walked with a group of friends to the library, according to juvenile court documents.

The 15-year-old, who is not being named because he is a minor, was charged with murder, aggravated robbery indicate deadly weapon possession in or fleeing theft, fleeing and eluding and having weapons under a disability.

On Dec. 20, Chappman was walking in the area of Lakefront and Euclid avenues in East Cleveland when she was struck and killed by a vehicle that went up on the sidewalk.

RELATED: 15-year-old charged with murder in death of 13-year-old girl killed during police pursuit

The chase

The chase started on Dec. 20 around 2:30 p.m. when a 38-year-old woman was approached by two men outside a Target on West 117th Street. She told police one of the robbers had a gun, and demanded she hand over her vehicle. An off-duty police officer witnessed the incident and followed the stolen car, authorities said. The off-duty officer called police and said he was following the car eastbound on I-90.

During the chase, as the vehicle approached Woodworth and Hayden avenues in East Cleveland, it reached speeds of up to 75 mph, according to a police report.

A second officer joined in pursuit of the vehicle as well, police said.

The pursuit ended at Lakefront and Euclid avenues in East Cleveland. Chappman, who was in the area walking to the library, was killed in the crash. A second child was injured, according to East Cleveland police. A 15-year-old boy was arrested and a gun was confiscated on the scene.

A family and community in mourning

Since her death, questions have remained unanswered about the Cleveland Police Department's Chase policy and the details surrounding her death.

On Jan. 17.,Chappman's family, along with their attorney spoke out for the first time since her death.

An attorney representing Tamia Chappman's family said Cleveland police failed to comply with police policies and broke the law in the deadly pursuit that killed Tamia last month in East Cleveland. They are calling on Cleveland police to turn the investigation over to an outside agency.

Family members say three of her siblings and a cousin were with her when she was hit.

"It's a difficult time for them because they witnessed what happened to their sister," said Tamia's cousin Eileen Cunningham. "She was a vibrant, loving, smart young lady and the family is simply devastated behind the circumstances leading up to her death."

Shean Williams, an attorney with The Cochran Firm, believes Cleveland police were in the wrong for initiating the pursuit.

"Tamia died because the City of Cleveland Police Department put more value on recovering a stolen car than they put the value on Tamia's life," Williams said. "We have technology in this country, in this world to find anybody, so why do we need to have a 75 mile an hour chase in the streets of this community when children are getting out of school? That doesn't make any sense."

RELATED: 13-year-old bystander, who was killed during police pursuit, was among group of children walking to the library at time of crash