Samaria Rice on Loving and Losing Her Son, Tamir

Samaria Rice on Loving and Losing Her Son, Tamir

Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer, speaks during a news conference Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Cleveland.  Rice and her attorneys talked about the city's response to the lawsuit, a day after Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson apologized for wording in a court document in which the city said the boy died as a result of his own actions. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer, speaks during a news conference Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

(Ebony) – “I sent two children to play that day and only one came back.”

On November 22, 2014, Samaria Rice’s youngest daughter Tajai Rice, 15, and youngest son Tamir Rice, 12, went to Cumell Commons, a local park with a recreational center in Cleveland, Ohio. According to reports, someone called police reported that there was a young African American male waving a gun at the playground. Despite the caller saying he was “probably a juvenile” (he was) and that the gun was “probably fake” (it was), police drew their weapons, and within seconds of arriving, fired at Tamir, fatally shooting him.

In an interview with EBONY on May 29, 2015, Samaria described young Tamir as a “bright, loving child” who excelled in many areas. He was involved in the Boys & Girls Club and he played basketball, football, and soccer. “Basketball may have been his favorite, but he was good at all of them,” Samaria recalls. Her voice brightens when she speaks of how active he was and how talented he was at various sports. What did Tamir want to be when he grew up? “We were still working on it,” she said with sadness in her voice. “It could have gone any way, but I don’t know what he could have been.”

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