Tamir Rice's mother to speak during Kent State May 4 commemoration

Samaria Rice to speak during Kent State May commemoration. (Source: WOIO)
Samaria Rice to speak during Kent State May commemoration. (Source: WOIO)
Published: Apr. 27, 2016 at 4:41 PM EDT
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KENT, OH (WOIO) - The mother of Tamir Rice will be the keynote speaker at this year's annual commemoration of May 4, 1970 at Kent State University.

Kent made the announcement about Samaria Rice speaking at the university Tuesday.

12-year-old Tamir was fatally gunned down by a Cleveland police officer while he was playing with a toy gun in a park near his house. The officer, Timothy Loehmann, who was never indicted in the killing, opened fire on Rice just seconds after pulling up next to him and telling him to drop his weapon.

Kent's annual commemoration, hosted by the May 4 Task Force, provides an opportunity for the university community to gather and remember those who were lost and injured during the tragedy and also reflect on what May 4 means today.

This year's theme is "Black Lives Matter: Long Live the Memory of Kent State and Jackson State".

"The May 4 Task Force has been talking all year about the significance of police violence to May 4 and of racial oppression to the histories of both the Kent State and Jackson State shootings," said Alan "Tré" Dufner, president of the May 4 Task Force and a junior philosophy major at Kent State.

The commemoration begins at noon on the Kent State Commons and includes a speech by Rice and a performance by a member of the Kent State Gospel Choir. Kent State President Beverly Warren also will speak.

A series of events have been organized by the May 4 Task Force and other campus organizations, including book discussions and signings, concerts and the annual candlelight walk, vigil and commemoration.

For more information about the events CLICK HERE.

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