The mothers called out a number of prominent names associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, including activist Shaun King, Attorney Benjamin Crump, the Black Lives Matter Global Network, and activist and former Women’s March organizer, Tamika D. Mallory. Mallory recently appeared in Lil’ Baby’s Grammy performance about police brutality and recited a poem calling for justice, equity, and freedom. The performance outraged Rice, who called Mallory a “clout chaser” in a Facebook post. In another post, Rice said, “FUCK A GRAMMY WHEN MY SON IS DEAD.”
(For some senseless reason, King felt compelled to write a blog gently telling Rice to knock it off and be nice to Mallory.)
Rice’s son, Tamir, was shot and killed by a white Cleveland police officer in 2014 while he was playing in the park. Simpson’s son, Richard, was shot and killed by a police officer in Los Angeles during a gunfight; Richard reportedly shot at police twice, while LAPD fired a total of 64 rounds, a move Simpson argues was excessive.
“We never hired them to be the representatives in the fight for justice for our dead loved ones murdered by the police,” the joint statement read. “The ‘activists’ have events in our cities and have not given us anything substantial for using our loved ones’ images and names on their flyers... We don’t want or need y’all parading in the streets accumulating donations, platforms, movie deals, etc. off the death of our loved ones, while the families and communities are left clueless and broken. Don’t say our loved ones’ names period! That’s our truth!”
The statement also accuses “ambulance chasing” attorneys like Crump, whose profile has skyrocketed, due to his work with families effected by police violence, of “misleading the impacted families.” Rice says she fired Crump six to eight months after he worked her son’s case, but in the last year Crump has been involved in the cases of George Floyd, Jacob Blake, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. On Tuesday, he held a press conference with Daisha Smalls, whose one-year-old was accidentally shot by a Houston police officer this month. His fame is reliant on the deaths of unarmed Black people, and that’s precisely Rice’s problem.
The statement continues with the following list of demands:
We demand accountability from everyone mentioned with the following demands:
1. Step down from the spotlight of our fights. Do not do anymore interviews, make anymore t-shirts, or hold anymore press conferences or events in the name of our loved ones. Do not use our loved ones to market any events. Stop clout chasing and ambulance chasing these families.
2. Black Lives Matter Los Angeles should pay me, Lisa Simpson, as I am the mother of Richard Risher. They had a press conference for the 49 day encampment when my son, Richard Risher, first got killed. They campaigned to raise $5,000 for my son’s funeral. I never received one penny of the money they raised. They kicked me off the encampment because they did not like how I chose to fight for my son.
3. Financial assistance for the Tamir Rice Foundation from all who have exploited Tamir Rice: Tamika Mallory, Shaun King, Benjamin Crump, and Black Lives Matter Global Network. I, Samaria Rice, purchased the building in 2018 and it needs remodeling, operational funds, bullet proof windows for the lower level, Hcvac cooling and heating system, commercial flooring, restrooms, furniture, piano repairs, new internal doors, etc.
4. Housing funds for Lisa Simpson, as I am battling homelessness with my current children. My son, Richard Risher, was killed by LAPD and I was offered no assistance from BLM. I am currently living in a motel with my children and need funds for housing.
5. Support the Tamir Rice Foundation and make all requested donations there: www.tamirericefoundation.org
6. Send personal donations to the cashapps of $SamariaRice and $LisaLee693
In short, Activists™ can show their support by offering direct financial support to families suffering the results of police violence instead of nebulous funds going to nebulous operations. Now that this strain of Black activism is becoming increasingly corporate, who can blame them?