Honoring Tamir Rice On His 22nd Birthday

Justice For Black Lives

Source: Boston Globe / Getty

UPDATED: 5:45 p.m. ET, June 25, 2024

On Nov. 22, 2014, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was snatched away from his family after a Cleveland Police officer killed him. But instead of focusing on the violent acts of unaccountable police officers, NewsOne joins his family and loved ones in honoring Tamir on his birthday during the tenth year of his life in remembrance.

Tamir would have been 22 years old on Tuesday. And while he will unfortunately never grow into adulthood, his family has honored the legacy and possibility of what his future should have been.

That includes activism and awareness from his mother, Samaria Rice, who has consistently and faithfully kept her son’s name alive. As such, Samaria Rice invited members of her Cleveland community to join her on Tuesday to celebrate her son’s life. Samaria Rice also encouraged people to support the Tamir Rice Foundation.

Rice’s family has continued to support advocacy efforts addressing police reform and violence.

The Department of Justice declined to pursue charges in Tamir’s killing. Samaria challenged the decision. Her efforts were also supported by a letter from dozens of legal scholars firmly suggesting the agency reevaluate its statutory interpretation in regards to charging police for violating people’s civil rights under the color of law.

In 2022, the Rice family dedicated a butterfly garden at Cudell Park on the site where Tamir was killed near a gazebo.

“This butterfly garden was created by Tamir’s community, who helped to turn it into something beautiful for better memories going forward, for the park, the Rice Family and the community,” reads a marker at the site.

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the butterfly garden, Samaria spoke of the pain she endured losing her young son.

As his mother, the pain is so real. I will be in pain for the rest of my life. With my pain, I was able to turn it into power by being Tamir’s voice and seeing the vision for our community by being in service to the people, especially our youth, me and my family struggled daily, but through the grace of God, we’re taking one day at a time and living the best that we can.

This butterfly memorial is very important to me and my family. This is the last memory I have of my son playing in the park, as children should be able to play in parks in America.

Last year, Samaria Rice announced that she was moving the Tamir Rice Foundation away from Cleveland.

“I’m not getting any support out of Cleveland from anywhere,” Samaria Rice told Spectrum News at the time. “So, I just think the best thing is to maybe take it to Chicago, where the gazebo is.”


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The post Honoring Tamir Rice On His 22nd Birthday appeared first on NewsOne.

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