Mom of 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice Speaks of Pain Following Grand Jury Decision

 

samaria riceThe news that a grand jury will not be indicting either of the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in November 2014 came as a shock and disappointment to many, but no one so much as Tamir's mom, Samaria Rice, who has issued a heartfelt and heartbreaking statement.

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Tamir was shot on a playground by Cleveland officer Tim Loehmann after Loehmann and officer Frank Garmback mistook the toy gun he was playing with for a real one. An unbelievably tragic mistake, and one that many believe was the officers' fault for making too hasty a decision, but Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty argued against an indictment, saying it was "reasonable" for Loehmann and Garmback to assume Tamir's "weapon" was real. Consequently, no one is being held accountable for his death -- and that's a reality his mother is understandably unwilling to live with. As she said in her statement, released on Monday night:

My family and I are in pain and devastated by the non-indictment of officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback for the murder of our beloved Tamir. After this investigation—which took over a year to unfold—and Prosecutor McGinty’s mishandling of this case, we no longer trust the local criminal-justice system, which we view as corrupt.

Prosecutor McGinty deliberately sabotaged the case, never advocating for my son, and acting instead like the police officers’ defense attorney. In a time in which a non-indictment who have killed an unarmed black child is business as usual, we mourn for Tamir, and for all of the black people who have been killed by the police without justice. In our view, this process demonstrates that race is still an extremely troubling and serious problem in our country and the criminal-justice system.

I don’t want my child to have died for nothing and I refuse to let his legacy or his name be ignored. We will continue to fight for justice for him, and for all families who must live with the pain that we live with.

As the video shows, Officer Loehmann shot my son in less than a second. All I wanted was someone to be held accountable. But this entire process was a charade.

I pray and hope that the federal government will investigate this case.

So incredibly sad. No matter what you might think about the court's decision, you've got to feel for this devastated mom. Not only did her young son die, but his death was completely pointless and avoidable. He wasn't doing a single thing wrong; he was just being a kid. 

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And now the people responsible for his death are free to live their lives without consequence. As a mom, I can't even imagine how she must be feeling, and I respect her commitment to fighting for justice. At the very least, we can hope and pray that her efforts help to prevent further tragedies like what happened to Tamir from happening.

 


Image via © Tony Dejak/AP/Corbis

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