Tamir Rice Foundation celebrates grand opening of memorial honoring his life

Published: Jul. 16, 2022 at 11:20 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A butterfly memorial opened Saturday in honor of Tamir Rice, nearly eight years after he was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer.

The Rice Butterfly Memorial is located at Cudell Park, the same place where Tamir was shot while playing with a fake gun. He was 12 years old.

“The butterfly is an example of qualitative change that emerges after a series of quantitative changes made by the caterpillar. Ella Baker once referred to quantitative changes. She called it the spade work of organizing. The thankless minutiae, the community organizing that leads to the revolution of society,” said Molly Nagin, Vice President, The Tamir Rice Foundation.

According to the Tamir Rice Foundation, the memorial is meant to honor Tamir’s 20th birthday and the sacrifices of his sister.

“My son is one of the most painful sacrifices for the world to endure. As his mother, the pain is so real, I will be in pain for the rest of my life,” said Samaria Rice, Tamir’s mother.

Cleveland police tackled and detained Tajai Rice after she arrived to the shooting scene, an act the Tamir Rice Foundation describes as police brutality.

Tamir Rice was shot on Nov. 22, 2014 and died from his injuries on Nov. 23, 2014.

Timothy Loehmann did not face charges for the shooting, but he was fired from the Cleveland Division of Police for lying on his job application.

Earlier this month, 19 News uncovered that Loehmann was hired as a police officer for a small Pennsylvania town. He has since withdrawn his application.

“It’s a tragedy that we hope we learn from this celebration. This beautiful park signifies to me and to others a place of peace and safety,” said U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown.

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