His mother Samaria Rice is still adjusting to life without her baby boy and trying to create a better future for herself and her family. She is reportedly working to create a foundation in Tamir’s name to provide scholarships and mentor children using a portion of what she’s owed from the city of Cleveland; she won a $6 million settlement in a federal civil rights lawsuit.
In an interview with The Associated Press last week, Samaria revealed she agreed to settle instead of going to trial after the judge advised that the money could help her and her family start to heal. She told The AP, “It’s disturbing that I had to put a price on my son, that I was forced to make a decision I didn’t want to make. I don’t wish that decision on nobody.” The scorned mom also admitted that she struggles with grief, anger and frustration that no one has been held accountable for Tamir’s death. She continued, “I believe if my son was white, he would probably still be here. There is no reason for my son to be dead.”
Rookie patrolman Timothy Loehmann shot Tamir less than two seconds after a cruiser driven by patrolman Frank Garmback skidded to a stop a few feet from the boy outside the Cudell Recreation Center on Nov. 22, 2014. Tamir was pronounced dead the following day.
Samaria says she at least wants the officers fired and is livid that the city has yet to announce how they are being held responsible for the incident. Neither officer was indicted. “I’m just disgusted with the city of Cleveland and how they’re not afraid for their citizens with these police officers on the loose. That was my mama’s boy,” Rice said. “He’d still let me hold him, kiss on him, hug him, even at 12 years old.”
Activists and supporters plan to demonstrate on Tuesday outside of the First District Police Headquarters on W. 130th Street for 12 hours, each year of Rice’s life.