Tamir Rice has held a special place in my soul since the day I saw him throwing snow up in the air, watching it crash down in front of him, only minutes before his innocent, precious life would be stolen and abused. As I’ve said, I’ve seen a lot, in person, on video; my life has been fighting police brutality and racism every day for the past ten years and counting. Once in awhile a special soul, such as Tamir Rice, will come along and move my soul; embed their innocent, kindness and a deep, deep emptiness in my soul.
It’s rare, but Tamir is one of the few and so anytime I read or listen to his strong, amazing mother speak I feel her words hitting me; each word strikes me so intensely. I want nothing more than to help her, but I have no idea how to reach out to her, or if she’d even want me to.
What makes it worse is we all know she is not alone. How many Black mothers have had to cry over the loss and/or abuse of their children/spouse/family member because a cop was racist, angry and bored? Because he knew his badge would get him off. Samarie knows exactly what we’ve got to do to get things under control, her post and link to it follow but this part is a quote which sums up my belief in accountability beautifully:
“The people should be the ones determining what accountability looks like, not prosecutors who work closely with police to deny the people justice. County Prosecutors whose job requires them to believe the police the majority of the time, should not be the same people prosecuting them. Police officers often lie about fearing for their life.”- Samaria Rice (see below)
In this article she discusses why she isn’t endorsing anyone for presidential candidate this year, and can you blame her? I am right there beside her. This government is failing us and Tupac Shakur; the man I call my father, says it far better than I can in the video to the left.
This article made me cry and broke my heart, I wish I could help her gain justice more than anything right now. I may try to contact her however I’m sure she’s had countless people do this. I can’t explain it, I just feel something especially deep within my soul as Tamir for some reason indelibly touched my soul.
Below is his Mothers post, the link to it follows. We have to start taking action; we’ve gotta start doing more…..
Why I Have Not Endorsed Any Candidate
Reflections from a Mom of the Movement
Over the past few weeks, I had been approached by many people all with the same question: Who will I endorse for President of the United States? I have heard this even more since the launch of the Justice For Tamir Speak Out Tour. I have watched as my fellow mothers that have lost children have chosen a candidate to invest their faith in and I support them in their pursuits of justice for their children, and the people want to know where I stand.
For over a year I have been fighting for justice for my son, Tamir , who was killed by Cleveland police officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback. For over a year, I’ve waited to see if any candidate or official, including my state’s governor, would release a plan of action that addressed the failures and inhumane decisions responsible for my son’s death. While I’ve waited, I’ve been speaking out for true action, with changes that would help prevent another tragedy like Tamir’s murder, changes that truly hold these police accountable and give people power in the communities we live in.
As a resident of Cleveland, Ohio, my local and state governments have not only failed my family, they’ve caused us severe trauma. After shooting Tamir, Cleveland police neglected to call aid for my son and handcuffed my daughter, who was trying help her brother. Then the city of Cleveland later tried to charge me for the ambulance ride that was too late to save my son’s life. They said it was a mistake, and no one was held responsible for any of pain they caused my family. Candidate
After Tamir’s death, the county prosecutor, Timothy McGinty, an elected official, responsible for seeking justice for Tamir, instead blamed my 12 year old boy for his own death. All of this happened under the administration of Ohio governor, John Kasich, a 2016 presidential nominee. Ohio’s state government has shown me repeatedly that the people elected to serve have no interest in justice. The loss of Tamir has made it clear to me that Cleveland is deeply invested in a system of injustice. No one has been held responsible for any part of this entire traumatic experience. No one has at least apologized for killing my son. Not a single politician has offered me some substantial support.
While I’ve continued to push my state’s officials towards real changes, several Presidential candidates have said my son’s name in their mouth, using his death as an example of what shouldn’t happen in America. Twelve year old children should never be murdered for playing in a park. But not a single politician: local, state or federal, has taken action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Instead of plans for justice and accountability, I have been shown several plans for criminal justice reform, none that address my experience of the entire system being guilty. Those plans don’t address the many ways elected officials become exempt to accountability and the legal flaws that allow them to extend that exemption to cops who kill. These plans do not get rid of the trauma of knowing that my tax dollars help pay the salaries of the police officers that killed my son.
As one of the Mothers of the Movement, I know the death of Tamir has shown many just how important police accountability is. I also know it must be a piece of a larger plan to address the deep corruptions that exist in America. The people should be the ones determining what accountability looks like, not prosecutors who work closely with police to deny the people justice. County Prosecutors whose job requires them to believe the police the majority of the time, should not be the same people prosecuting them. Police officers often lie about fearing for their life.
True community oversight of the police is one that evens the balance of power and allows the communities police serve to judge how well they are doing their job. My experience has let me know that the system is working just the way the people in power want it to. That is why I refuse to accept plans or support politicians that offer what they propose as solutions, not informed by us, the community. It’s why I won’t accept plans for more “community police” as positive solutions when it was the police that killed my son. I cannot settle for partial solutions and lip service. I know we need real action, and I refuse to endorse any candidate that offers less.