Tamir’s Campaign for Justice calls on officials to reopen civil rights case
by Michael Indriolo
(Plain Press, December 2021) Public square is always noisy; however, for a brief moment on Tuesday November 9th, a pocket of the Cleveland landmark was filled not with the sounds of busses and construction, but with song.
A mother cries for justice.
Can you hear her say:
Oh Tamir, Tamir, we feel you here,
takin’ on the DOJ.
The few dozen singing had been part of a group of more than 50 demonstrators from Tamir’s Campaign for Justice who’d just marched down the street to the Justice Center a few blocks away. They had spent about a half hour there on the building’s back steps, where Samaria Rice and other community organizers called on Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley and other state and federal authorities to reopen a case against the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice, Samaria’s son. The downtown march was one of a number of Tamir Rice Seventh Anniversary events and calls to action for real justice.
Seven years ago, Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann, almost immediately after arriving on the scene, fatally shot Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old who was playing with a toy airsoft gun, outside the Cudell Recreation Center on Nov. 22, 2014. The United States Department of Justice had been investigating the incident until last year, when it officially closed the civil rights case without bringing charges against Loehmann or his police partner at the scene, Frank Garmback.
Samaria Rice and other local organizers have since been working to get the case reopened in hopes of justice. Cleveland.com reporter Adam Ferrise wrote up a succinct timeline of the major happenings in the case from the time Loehmann shot Rice to now. The article titled, “Protesters march in downtown Cleveland ahead of seventh anniversary of fatal police shooting of Tamir Rice” was published online by Cleveland.com on November 9th, the day of the protest.
Samaria Rice said Tamir’s Campaign for Justice has several events planned ahead of the anniversary of his shooting. The campaign’s page can be found at: actionnetwork.org. You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The demonstrators initially gathered in Public Square around noon before grouping up to begin their march toward the Justice Center. According to a press release, Tamir’s Campaign for Justice wants O’Malley to appoint a special prosecutor and reconvene a grand jury to evaluate charges of obstruction of justice and perjury charges against the officers Loehmann and Garmback before the statutes of limitations on them expire in December.
Editor’s Note: This article and the photos were produced and provided to the Plain Press by The Land. The Land is an online newsletter that reports on Cleveland neighborhoods and inner ring suburbs. To subscribe to The Land visit: www.thelandcle.org. Michael Indriolo is a reporting fellow at The Land.