Samaria Rice has issued a statement responding to the Cuyahoga County grand jury’s failure to indict either of the two police officers involved in the fatal November 2014 shooting of her son, Tamir Rice. Twelve-year-old Rice was shot to death by Tim Loehmann on the playground after Loehmann and fellow officer Frank Garmback saw him playing with a toy weapon.
On Monday evening, Rice’s mother released the following remarks:
“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.”
Timothy J. McGinty, Cuyahoga County prosecutor, announced the decision. He “did not recommend that the grand jury bring any charges. McGinty added that he believes both of the Cleveland police officers involved in the deadly encounter were reasonable in their belief that Rice had a real weapon, and that new analysis of the video leaves it ‘indisputable’ that the boy was pulling a weapon from his waistband when he was killed.”
The Civil Rights Division within the Department of Justice is also investigating the circumstances surrounding Rice’s death and will produce its assessment independent of the Ohio court system.
In spite of the proceedings, downtown Cleveland was quiet today. However, demonstrators began to gather in the late afternoon at the park where Tamir Rice was killed. Those who assembled carried signs calling for justice.
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