City of Cleveland spends $267K to fight lawsuit in death of 13-year-old Tamia Chappman

The legal fees continue to mount nearly three years after the deadly police chase from Cleveland to East Cleveland
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 4:23 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The City of Cleveland has spent more than $267,000 in legal fees to defend itself in a civil lawsuit filed on behalf of the family of Tamia Chappman.

The numbers were obtained by 19 News via public records request.

The 13-year-old girl was killed in December of 2019 after Cleveland police chased two teenagers in a stolen car that eventually crashed into Chappman, who was on foot.

Last week, the city released the numbers, which were requested by 19 News in January.

According to the two-page document, the city has paid $267,223 to two separate law firms between 2020 and 2022.

Because the request was made in January, 19 News only asked for a breakdown of costs through the end of last year.

The city reported paying $13,296 in 2020, $62,173 in 2021 and a total of $191,752 in 2022.

The 16-year-old driver who pleaded guilty in connection to the chase was sentenced to a prison term of 26 to 31 years. At least nine years of the sentencing term are mandatory.

D’Shaun McNear, who was 15 years old at the time of the crash, previously pleaded guilty as an adult to involuntary manslaughter, aggravated robbery, failure to comply, possessing weapons under disability, and aggravated vehicular assault.

According to investigators, McNear and a second teen suspect stole a car from a woman at the Target on West 117th Street.

Lawyers for the Chappman family have maintained for years that Cleveland police did not properly follow department procedures and protocol.

They’re suing the city for $20 million.

The city has routinely declined to comment on this case and others while litigation is still pending.