Rice Family: This scenario cannot happen again in America - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Rice Family: This scenario cannot happen again in America

Tamir Rice, 12, was fatally shot by police while holding a BB gun. (Source: Family) Tamir Rice, 12, was fatally shot by police while holding a BB gun. (Source: Family)
Samaria Rice, Tamir's mom, speaks to local media for the first time. (Source: WOIO) Samaria Rice, Tamir's mom, speaks to local media for the first time. (Source: WOIO)
News conference calling for justice for Tamir Rice. (Source: WOIO) News conference calling for justice for Tamir Rice. (Source: WOIO)
Tamir Rice family members hold news conference at the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church. (Source: WOIO) Tamir Rice family members hold news conference at the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church. (Source: WOIO)
Cleveland Councilman Jeff Johnson. (Source: WOIO) Cleveland Councilman Jeff Johnson. (Source: WOIO)
Tamir Rice's family spoke to local media for the first time Monday. Tamir, 12, was shot by police at the Cudell Recreation Center last month. According to police, Tamir was holding a toy gun and did not raise his hands when commanded. 

"On Nov. 22, two little boys knocked on my door and said, 'the police just shot your son twice in the stomach,'" said Samaria Rice. 

Samaria Rice, Tamir's mom, was joined by Rev. Dr. Jawanza Karriem Colvin and family attorneys, Benjamin Crump and Akron-based attorney Walter Madison, at the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church. She said very little, but made clear how she wanted the officer indicted.

They are not happy with how the investigation is going and expressed what they would like to see done. 

"We have called for three things; 1.) immediate resignation and/or dismissal of public safety administrators Martin Flask and Michael McGrath 2.) the mayor to begin a national search to fill those positions, and 3.) an advisory board to assist the mayor when making the appointment," said Colvin.

Crump has represented the families of Trayvon Martin in Miami Gardens, FL and Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.

"They [police] are supposed to deescalate situations, not escalate them," said Crump. "The main emphasis for us is to get justice for their child." 

"Our communities have become the enemies of our protectors," said Madison.

Tamir's family says this scenario cannot happen again in America.
 
"The family is very distrustful of whether local authorities will indict a police officer even though it is very clear, very transparent that several things were done inappropriately," said Crump.

Crump made a convoluted argument that by taking the final investigation to a grand jury, somehow the officer was being treated more fairly than Tamir. He wants a different path.

"Indict the police officer now and have a trial by jury where everybody can see it. It can be transparent and this family and this community can believe the justice system works for everybody equally," Crump explained.

If one thing was clear, it was that there is much distrust of the grand jury and its behind closed doors operations, after no indictments in other police versus citizen cases. 

On Friday, the family filed a federal lawsuit against the Cleveland Police Department.

 Click here to read the complaint 

The investigation into the deadly shooting is ongoing. 

Copyright 2014 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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