Tamir Rice still deserves justice.
Demand an investigation.
Since the senseless killing of my son, Tamir Rice, by Cleveland Police Officers I have had many sleepless days and nights. For more than a year now, I have sought justice for my son but no one has been held responsible. My greatest disappointment has been the way Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, Timothy McGinty, has handled the case. Months ago, I asked McGinty to step aside so a special prosecutor could take over but he refused and attacked my family in the press instead.1
Prosecutor McGinty never intended to hold anyone responsible for Tamir's death. Just yesterday, it was revealed that the grand jury never even took a vote on indicting the officers that killed my son after being told that the shooting was justifiable by the prosecutor.2 Now it is McGinty who needs to be held accountable for his negligence in handling this case. It's time for the Department of Justice to investigate Tamir's killing and the investigation and grand jury process that followed.
Please join me in telling the Department of Justice that my son, Tamir Rice, deserves a thorough investigation into his death and any potential prosecutorial misconduct in the handling of the case.
Prosecutor McGinty has stooped to a new low. Instead of doing his job and recommending charges against the police who killed Tamir, McGinty intentionally influenced the grand jury process away from even the most minimal of punishments for the cops who killed Tamir. Throughout the grand jury process, McGinty released questionable expert reports justifying Tamir’s killing.3 He used his press conference following the non-indictment to justify the officer's actions and is now saying he can't turn over the transcripts from the grand jury proceedings.4
Prosecutors are elected to uphold integrity and justice within our criminal justice system. Yet, it is incredibly hard to hold police accountable when they kill Black people. A prosecutor pressing charges against an officer is a rarity that often only occurs with a mass swell of protests and mainstream media attention. Meanwhile, far too many prosecutors go out of their way to never indict police officers while over-prosecuting and incarcerating Black folks for far less damaging crimes.
I am committed to exposing and dismantling this corrupt system and I understand that we must hold local prosecutors responsible when they contribute to racism in the criminal justice system. The Department of Justice has the power to investigate prosecutors. Over 150,000 ColorOfChange members joined me in calling for a special prosecutor to take over Tamir's case. Although McGinty has continued to resist calls for accountability, the overwhelming pressure is beginning to chip away at political support for his reelection this year. If we continue the pressure, we can make sure he's held accountable.
Samaria Rice, Mother of Tamir Elijah Rice
1. EXCLUSIVE: McGinty questions Rice family motives, November 12, 2015
2. Report raises questions about Tamir Rice grand jury
3. Samaria Rice asks for special prosecutor for Tamir Rice investigation, WEWS NewsChannel5 October 16, 2015
4. Grand jury: No charges in Tamir Rice killing USA Today, December 16, 2015
5. Prosecutor McGinty says law prevents him from turning over grand jury transcripts
6. Cuyahoga County Democratic Party does not endorse in prosecutors race