If a person ever wondered whether or not Cleveland police have any empathy for the killing of a Black child by one of its officers, the answer is an emphatic no. The nation was shocked when Tamir Rice, an unarmed 12-year-old boy, was gunned down by Cleveland Officer Timothy Loehmann. Rice was in the park playing with a toy gun when Loehmann pulled up in his squad car and shot him dead in seconds. But what is outrageous is the fact that they were going to charge Rice with “inducing panic” and “aggravated menacing.” A blatant lie that Loehmann further tried to embellish by stating he received minor injuries in the encounter, despite never coming into direct physical contact with Rice.
The incident was captured on videotape and yet the police investigation has not been completed, nor has any information been released regarding the status. The tragic death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice has somehow slipped off the radar of the national consciousness. Compounding the tragedy was the fact that the child’s mother, Samaria Rice, did not want her son buried until the police investigation was completed. Tamir’s mother did not want the trauma of seeing her son’s body exhumed as part of the investigation.
However, the family paid $75 a day for six months to keep Tamir’s body stored at cost of over $18,000. On May 13, Samaria Rice made a difficult decision, according to a statement from family attorney Walter Madison: “Samaria is a mother first. Whether in life or death, her instinct is to care for her child. Due to an unfortunate turn of events, she was faced with the unspeakable decision to finally put her son to final rest or endure this legal morass and its hardness. After the tremendous amount of support from around the world, Samaria made the grief-stricken decision to be a mother. Tamir Rice was cremated.”
The investigation into the death of Tamir Rice is still ongoing by the Cleveland Police Department and Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office.