Even more disturbing details have emerged about the fatal police shooting of a 12-year-old in Cleveland last month. Samaira Rice, Tamir’s mother, is pushing for charges against the officers involved and speaking out about how they treated her family in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
According to Rice, the officers were primarily occupied with keeping the distraught family away from the boy. She said Tamir’s sister, who is 14, was inside the recreational center when he was shot. When the girl ran out, police officers apprehended her and locked her in the back of a police car. Other kids, meanwhile, went to alert the family.
“Two little boys came and knocked on my door and said, ‘Police officers just shot your son twice in the stomach,’” Rice said. Her 16-year-old son beat her out the door, and by the time she got to the scene, police were already pushing him in a squad car. She saw Tamir lying there, and “charged,” yelling. They told her “to calm down or they would put [her] in the back of a police car,” because staying calm is a real possibility for the parent of a bleeding child. After, Rice said she was told to choose between staying with her daughter, whom the cops would not release, or accompanying Tamir to the hospital. When she chose the latter, police made her “sit in the front of the ambulance truck like I was a passenger.”
The police department declined to comment on these allegations to the New York Times and CNN. Now, Rice just hopes charges will be brought against the officer and wants people to know that the toy gun — which officers say they mistook for a real one — was handed to Tamir by a friend just before the shooting. She also hopes for an apology, but hasn’t gotten one yet. “I’m still waiting,” she said.