by BAR editor and columnist, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo
In this exclusive interview, Samaria Rice speaks courageously about the day that changed her life forever. Her 12 year old son, Tamir Rice was brutally killed by Cleveland, Ohio police on November 22, 2014. Tamir was attacked and killed by police incapable of viewing him as a child playing in a neighborhood community center. Tamir’s assassination illustrates the depravity of white supremacy.
Interview of Samaria Rice: “Tamir Was Blamed for Causing His Own Death”
by BAR editor and columnist, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo
Tamir joins Emmitt Till in an uniquely grotesque brotherhood of death on the streets of America where blood, dirt and white hatred walks around in blue uniforms exercising their state-sponsored license to kill Africans with impunity. Perhaps, the brutal murders of Tamir and Emmitt profoundly crystallize the interconnectivity of the black experience from the 20th to the 21st century. Boys not permitted to enjoy childhood and certainly not permitted to forget for one moment that being African in America carries a death sentence.
Samaria Rice, the mother of 12 year old Tamir lives in a space of unassailable grace. She is fearless having lost and regained her sea legs. Samaria’s interview below underlines her resistance, her unfathomable journey to expose the killer of her child and to end the drumbeat of murder of black children and genocide of her people. In Part II, I explore the moments after Tamir was shot by Cleveland, Ohio police. It was established in Part I that Cleveland police refused to allow Tamir’s 14 year old sister Tajai to provide life-saving techniques and save her brother’s life. She was manhandled, handcuffed and forced to sit in the back of the same patrol car that was used in the execution of her brother.
Coleman-Adebayo: Did the police prevent you from providing life-saving medical attention to Tamir? If so, how?
Samaria Rice: After the Police shot my son, two little boys that knew Tamir ran to my house and told me what had happened. I ran over as fast as I could. When I got there, I saw my son on the ground not receiving any first aid. I saw my daughter being handcuffed and locked in the back of a police cruiser. I was torn and between which child to assist. I was denied access to either child. I was told by the Police that I had two choices: go with my dying child in the ambulance or with my child that was in the rear of the police cruiser. I had to choose.
Coleman-Adebayo: The City of Cleveland has issued a report, essentially blaming Tamir for his own death. Can you elaborate?
Samaria Rice: All I can say about the city of Cleveland’s answer blaming my son for his own death is that as a mother no one has explained to me why my child is dead. The decision to blame my son for his own death is disrespectful and it hurts. How can a 12 year old child be expected to understand danger like an adult. The City of Cleveland has put an unfair adult like burden on my son. Twelve year olds can not do a number of things in society because they are too immature and can not appreciate the consequence of their actions. Tamir still watches “Curious George” he has no idea that the police could perceive a toy to be life threatening.
Coleman-Adebayo: What are the next steps in seeking justice for Tamir and how can the public help you and your family in this struggle?
Samaria Rice: The next steps are to continue to speak out and raise awareness of about these unjustified killings. It will not stop until accountability is demanded and enforced equally.
The public can help by signing our petition and donating to our memorial account. The funds help with travel, signage, and daily expenses while the family pursues justice.
Being thrust into this national issue is a full time job. The GoFundMe account is http:// www.gofundme.com/ricememorialfund
Coleman-Adebayo: Thank you for your courage and leadership.
Get Involved: Million Moms March: Washington, DC – May 9, 2015
On May 9th Black mothers from across the United States will converge on Washington, DC to demand an end to the murder of unarmed husbands, sons and more frequently their daughters by police terror and white vigilantes. Frederick Douglas once said: “I prayed for twenty years (during captivity) but received no answer until I prayed with my leg.” Hundreds of mothers are coming to Washington, DC to pray with their feet and demand an end to the killings of their children
Follow @mommas4justice for updates on Twitter or and like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/mothersforjusticeunited The Website: www.mothersforjusticeunited.org; Donate today at: www.http://tiny.cc/tptdsx
[email protected] or 414-939-5599.
WHAT: Million Moms March
WHEN: Saturday, May 9, 2015 10 AM - 2 PM
WHERE: Mount Vernon Square to march to DOJ
800 Mt Vernon Place NW
Washington, DC 20001
Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is the author of No FEAR: A Whistleblowers Triumph over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA. She worked at the EPA for 18 years and blew the whistle on a US multinational corporation that endangered South African vanadium mine workers. Marsha's successful lawsuit led to the introduction and passage of the first civil rights and whistleblower law of the 21st century: the Notification of Federal Employees Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act). She is Director of Transparency and Accountability for the Green Shadow Cabinet, serves on the Advisory Board of ExposeFacts.com.and coordinates the DC-based Hands-Up Coalition.