Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Tamir Rice's mom, Samaria, earlier this year. (Photo: File)

Tamir Rice's mom, Samaria, earlier this year. (Photo: File)

Nation Mourns Tamir Rice Case as a 'Catastrophic and Pernicious Miscarriage of Justice'

'All I wanted was someone to be held accountable,' says Tamir Rice's mother. 'But this entire process was a charade.'

Deirdre Fulton

Outrage was palpable in Cleveland and beyond following Monday's shocking non-indictment of two police officers in the 2014 shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

In a statement provided to New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow, Rice family attorney Jonathan Abady called the decision "a catastrophic and pernicious miscarriage of justice."

"All the family wanted was fairness and accountability," Abady said. "They got neither."

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced Monday afternoon that an Ohio grand jury had opted not to indict officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback in the shooting, which took place on November 22, 2014 in a park where Rice was playing with a pellet gun.

By choosing not to indict Loehmann and Garmback, the grand jury "put an exclamation point on the statement that black lives don’t matter," Kirsten West Savali wrote at The Root on Monday. "That black children do not matter. That being young, black and free is a crime punishable immediately by death."

She continued: "When I see photos of Tamir, husky and bright-eyed, smiling that mischievous grin, I am reminded of my eldest son, his innocence and awkwardness encased in a large 10-year-old frame that causes passers-by to remark on his size. I am reminded that to me and his father, he is our baby, but to cops like Loehmann and Garmback, he is guilty of existing until proved otherwise."

"I am reminded, again, that justice in this country looks like dead black children and the free white cops who kill them," Savali wrote. "It always has."

In the wake of the decision, the grand jury process and U.S. justice system are under fire both from Rice's family and observers across the country.

Tamir's mother, Samaria Rice, said in a statement Monday that "this process demonstrates that race is still an extremely troubling and serious problem in our country and the criminal-justice system."

Describing her family as "in pain and devastated" by the outcome, Samaria Rice continued:

I don't want my child to have died for nothing and I refuse to let his legacy or his name be ignored. We will continue to fight for justice for him, and for all families who must live with the pain that we live with.

As the video shows, Officer Loehmann shot my son in less than a second. All I wanted was someone to be held accountable. But this entire process was a charade.

She reiterated the family's call for the federal Department of Justice to investigate the case, a demand echoed by the Cleveland branch of the Anti-Defamation League. 

In a statement, the group's director, Anita Gray, said: "Public safety—everywhere—requires trust between law enforcement and the communities they are sworn to protect."

Meanwhile, protests took place in Cleveland and New York City on Monday night and demonstrations are planned for 3 p.m. Tuesday in downtown Cleveland, as well as in New York and Seattle.

In addition, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson will speak about the Rice case at an 11:30 a.m. press conference that will be live-streamed here.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Despite Housing Crisis, Mississippi May Return Up to Millions in Federal Rent Aid to DC

"For them to suggest people like me aren't working? It's a slap in the face," said one woman affected by the end of the pandemic assistance program. "It's very insulting and degrading."

Brett Wilkins ·


80% of US Voters Across Party Lines Support Expanding Social Security

"With Republicans threatening to cut benefits—and worse, eliminate the program entirely—Dems need to make clear they're fighting to protect and expand benefits."

Jessica Corbett ·


Rich Nations Again Accused of Vaccine Hoarding as UK OKs Moderna Omicron Booster

"While countries like the U.K. buy updated vaccines for their fourth doses, people in low- and middle-income countries are fighting today's variants with yesterday's vaccines."

Brett Wilkins ·


With Trumpian Claims of Cheating, Starbucks Demands Halt to Union Elections

"Unfortunately, it's now in vogue for the losers of some elections nationwide to attempt to reverse elections by any means they think are necessary," said Starbucks Workers United.

Jake Johnson ·


Richest Country on Earth to One of Its Poorest: We're Keeping the Money We Stole From You

A foreign affairs columnist called the move by the Biden administration a "shortsighted, morally unconscionable, and potentially calamitous decision for a country on the cusp of universal poverty."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo