More than a year after her 12-year-old son, Tamir Rice, was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer, Samaria Rice appeared before a grand jury yesterday (November 30). Local news station WKYC reports that she was invited, not subpoenaed, which put the decision to appear in Rice’s hands. She did not speak to press before or after her testimony, but family attorney Subodh Chandra issued the following statement:
Today, Samaria Rice and two of her children had the opportunity to tell a grand jury about the horror they experienced on November 22, 2015, when Cleveland police officers rushed upon and shot their beloved son and brother Tamir Rice. Ms. Rice told the grand jury about how she learned about the police shooting of her 12-year-old son and what a gentle, loving, and kind soul her child was to his family and friends. She had the opportunity to ask the grand jury to consider whether it could possibly be “reasonable” or “justifiable” for officers to speed across the grass when driveways were nearby, rush up to Tamir and shoot him immediately. She believes that the answer is plainly no, and hopes and prays that the grand jury agrees that there is probable cause to indict the officers and hold them accountable for her son’s death.
Tamir’s sister, Tajai, and bother, Kavon also attended the hearing.
The grand jury has convened to determine if criminal charges should be filed against officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, the two cops who responded to the 911 call that Rice had a gun that the caller said was “probably fake”—and then shot the boy within two seconds of arrival.