Tamir Rice's mother wants a conviction in police shooting

by Staff, |
Tamir E. Rice, 12, was shot to death at a Cleveland park by police on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. | Family photo

CLEVELAND, Ohio (Christian Examiner) -- Tamir Rice's mother Samaria Rice finally has broken her silence regarding the shooting of her 12-year-old son on Nov. 22. The grieving African-American mother revealed that after her young son was shot at Cudell Recreation Center in Cleveland, his 14-year-old sister ran to his aid and was slammed to the ground and handcuffed by police officers.

"I'm looking for a conviction," Rice told reporters.

Tamir Rice was shot while carrying what turned out to be a replica gun that typically fires plastic pellets. The family has since filed a federal civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit against the city and the two white police officers involved – Frank Garmback, 46, and Timothy Loehmann, 26. Loehmann pulled the trigger.

They were responding to reports of a weapon in the park, though the caller had initially said he thought the weapon was fake. Surveillance video of the incident shows that the officers fired on Rice fewer than two seconds after pulling up to the gazebo.

Although the police shooting will have to go to a grand jury in Cuyahoga County, Rice's attorney, Benjamin Crump, said Monday that the video evidence proves a jury unnecessary.

"The things that he did in that video, which I suggest is enough probable cause to indict the police officer now and have a trial jury where everybody can see it, where it can be transparent," Crump said.

Rice said that the plastic pellet gun belonged to a friend, and that her sixth-grade boy was well-liked in the community.

"Tamir was a bright child, he had a promising future, and he was very talented in all sports -- soccer, basketball, football - he played the drums, he drew, he played video games, he's a great swimmer," she said.