has begun presenting information
to the grand jury
about my son's killing.
to recommend criminal charges
or step aside:
My name is Samaria RICE, and I am Tamir RICE's mother.
Nearly one year ago, Cleveland Police Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback killed my 12-year-old son as he played in the park outside our house. There are no words to adequately describe the pain of losing Tamir. We miss him every day.
Since Tamir's death, people like across the country have joined me and my family in demanding justice. Now, we need your support more than ever. Prosecutor McGinty has begun presenting information to the grand jury.1 We must increase our pressure and demand he advocate for Tamir or else we might not ever see justice.
Will you join 50,000 ColorOfChange members in urging Prosecutor McGinty to recommend criminal charges to the grand jury? If he can't do that, then it's his job to request a special prosecutor who can.
I have always known that my son was going to be important and make a change in the world. He was incredibly sweet and bright, and had a wonderful imagination. His friends say that when it came time for Tamir to pick his super powers for their games in the park, Tamir always wanted the power of super strength to stop "the bad guys." At 12-years-old he still watched Curious George. It was his favorite cartoon.
When I first heard that the police had shot Tamir, I rushed to the park, but they wouldn't even let me near him.Police wouldn't tell me anything — they treated me like I was the enemy — and just kept telling me to "calm down" as I tried to reach my wounded son. I never saw Tamir alive again. My son should have never been killed. As you can see in the video tape, he was shot immediately after the police arrived without any verbal warning. He did nothing wrong, and wasn't even holding the pellet gun when he was killed. Both officers have a terrifying history of misconduct and violence, and should be charged and lose their licenses immediately so they can never harm again.
Prosecutor McGinty — one of the only people in the justice system who is supposed to advocate for Tamir — has done everything to avoid holding the officers who killed him accountable, including ignoring a judge's ruling that said Officer Garmback and Loehmann should face murder charges.2 Although Prosecutor McGinty has ignored our calls for a special prosecutor, there is still time to make sure he advocates for charges in his closing statement to the grand jury. Prosecutors have tremendous power over whether or not a grand jury indicts, and unless Prosecutor McGinty continues to feel public pressure I don't trust that he will do what is necessary to secure justice for Tamir.
I don't want my son's name to be lost or swept under the rug, so I fight hard. I love hard. Please join me in urging Prosecutor McGinty to do his job — or call in another prosecutor who will.
Thank you for your time,
1. "Grand Jury Convenes To Decide Fate Of Officer Who Fatally Shot Tamir Rice", NewsOne 10-28-2015
2. "Outrage Is Growing Over the Tamir Rice Investigation," Mother Jones 10-28-2015