CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Among those who stood in the long lines to vote at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections on Sunday, the family of Tamir Rice.
Rice was a 12-year-old Black child who was carrying a pellet gun when he was shot and killed by a white Cleveland Police Officer in 2014.
19 News spoke to the family who hopes the 2020 Election will bring new office holders and lawmakers who will give a fresh look at potential criminal charges in the Tamir Rice case.
Rice would have turned 18-years-old this year, and 2020 would have been his first opportunity to actually vote. Now his family is encouraging the people of Cleveland and all of Ohio to use their vote as his voice for change.
Tamir Rice’s mother Samaria Rice says, “I will never forgive them for what they did to my family and myself, and all of the Black and brown Americans that America has stolen their lives.”
For Samaria Rice the pain of losing a child is still as real and raw now as it was six years ago. Adding to that pain, federal prosecutors failed to further investigate as promised, according to the family’s Attorney Subodh Chandra, and never took the shooting involving Cleveland Police Officers to a federal grand jury.
“So, I can’t understand why I don’t have an indictment on the federal level. The whole America seen what happened to my son, it was an assassination on behalf of law enforcement. I encourage everybody to get out and vote for change in America,” Samaria Rice said.
Rice is hoping this 2020 Election will result in change that could trigger police reform nationwide -- because she wants no other mother to feel her pain, and hopes new administration would take a second look at her son’s death. “Something has to change. This country is in an uproar and it’s going to be going to war,” Samaria Rice told 19 News.
Robin Andrews, who is Tamir Rice’s aunt has a request for Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, because she feels there should be consequences for everyone’s actions even if you do wear a badge and a gun.
“Dave Yost it has come to our attention that even though we didn’t get a federal indictment we still can get a state one. We have until December of 2021 and I guess what my sister and I – the Rice Family and I are asking, what are you going to do? We need an indictment and we need a conviction,” Andrews said.
19 News did call to request a comment from Attorney General Yost asking if his office could or would seek an indictment in the Tamir Rice case, even though a previous county grand jury did not issue an indictment in the killing. We are waiting for a call back.
The Tamir Rice Foundation partnered with the Ohio Student Association, Black Lives Matter Cleveland and Cleveland Votes.
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