CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Nov. 22 marks one year since the police shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. The case put Cleveland on edge and the family is still waiting for justice.
Tamir was shot by Cleveland Police on Cudell Rec Center's playground in front of his school, not too far from his home. Witnesses called police when they saw him waving around a gun that looked real. When Officers Frank Garmback and Timothy Loehmann responded, they pulled up the cruiser right next to him and shot Tamir within seconds. Tamir was only holding an air soft pellet gun.
"Everybody else goes and gets ready for Christmas and Thanksgiving, and all the holidays, and we're sitting crying here," said Samaria Rice's aunt.
Family members say they are having trouble dealing with the thought that Tim McGinty, the prosecutor who typically would work to indict a killer, may instead be putting together a case to justify the shooting.
"Maybe he should come at night when his mother is crying and wants to kill herself. Maybe Tim McGinty should be the one to come over and comfort her and pick her up off the floor," said the aunt.
On the anniversary of Tamir's death, family, friends and strangers place flowers and teddy bears on the spot where he was killed.
"It's very hard to walk past that knowing that's where Tamir took his last breath," said Latonya Goldsby, Tamir's cousin.
After a year of walking by and waiting for justice, Tamir's mother, Samaria Rice, is too tired to deal with media. Instead, she asks a cousin to do the talking, especially after the prosecutor on the case accused her of trying to make money off her son's death.
"The fact that he would even reference that we'd have economic gain from the death of a child, from the loss of a child, it's ridiculous," said Goldsby.
The family and their supporters make it clear they feel this prosecutor isn't doing his job and should step aside.
"With this prosecutor clinging to the case, all we can do now is ask that he publicly announce and tell the Rice family what his intentions are in the grand jury. Is he going to ask for an indictment or is he going to steer the grand jury away from an indictment?" said Subodh Chandra, the Rice family's attorney.
The events marking Tamir's death are far from over this weekend. Supporters of the Rice family will turn in the petition to recuse the prosecutor, following a march to the Justice Center that begins at the Free Stamp on Monday.