Samaria Rice demands justice on anniversary of son Tamir’s killing
Samaria Rice, top right, is still demanding justice for her son, Tamir Rice, left, who was killed by police. | Photos: Rice family, AP, and Claudia Jones School

WASHINGTON—With the seventh anniversary of her son Tamir Rice’s murder approaching, Samaria Rice is renewing her call for accountability, demanding the Department of Justice reopen Tamir’s case and that civil rights charges be brought against the police involved.

Tamir was killed in Cleveland when he was 12-years-old by Timothy Loehmann, a white police officer, in 2014. Officers said they thought a toy gun in Tamir’s possession was a real firearm, prompting them to open fire.

The Oct. 26 rally outside the White House. Samaria Rice is fifth from the left in the line of people holding the banner. | Courtesy of Claudia Jones School

Speaking at an event outside the White House on Tuesday, Oct. 26, she also called for more Black history education to be done in K-12 spaces and for education to make connections with African roots. Samaria Rice says that police reforms of the past and those enacted since her son was killed have largely failed. Rice said that qualified immunity for police must be ended, along with the so-called “Police Bill of Rights.”

“Do I believe in abolishing the police?” she rhetorically asked the crowd. “Of course I do.”

She was joined by Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-.N.Y., and speakers from a number of coalitions and organizations, including the Black Alliance for Peace, the Claudia Jones Club of Howard University, Black Workers’ Center Chorus, Pan-African Community Action, Good Trouble Co-Op, the D.C. club of the Young Communist League, and several others.

Most of those addressing the rally concentrated their remarks on the need to abolish the police and the carceral state. It was observed that Washington, D.C., which falls within the jurisdiction of 26 different police agencies, is the most over-policed city in the country. The federal 1033 Program, which funnels excess military equipment to police departments, was particularly targeted because of the way it transforms already oppressive police forces into what amounts to occupying armies.

There was also talk about the role of Congress in policy-making when it comes to the police. The right-wing forces working to gut the Build Back Better bill of social justice funding were put in the spotlight, as was the police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, which used its political dollars to push elected officials to quash any legislative reforms that law enforcement doesn’t want to see happen.

Paul Pumphrey of Black Alliance for Peace and Friends of the Congo was the event emcee. He noted that the core problem that creates and worsens class and race antagonisms was the greed fostered by capitalism.


TN Long
TN Long

TN Long is a student in the Washington, D.C. area.