Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann nearly six months ago. While his family has
waited for months on end
for the investigation to close, they were told that a second medical examination of his body may be needed at some future date.
Not wanting to suffer the emotional trauma of burying her son and then having to exhume his body from the ground for another examination, Samaria Rice patiently waited on the Cleveland Police Department and the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office to close their investigations. Expecting it to close months ago, she had no idea that so much time would pass before she could properly bury her son.
The family and the investigators never released to the public the information that Tamir had not yet been buried. When the national news broke on May 4 that Tamir's family was still in limbo, the pressure for Samaria Rice was just too much to handle. A bill in her name for nearly $18,000 accumulated as well, because the family had been charged $75 a day for the housing of Tamir's body, according to Walter Madison, the family's attorney, when reached by phone. Madison made the following statement:
Samaria is a mother first.
Whether or in life or death, her instinct is to care for her child.
Due to an unfortunate turn of events she was faced with the unspeakable decision to finally put her son to final rest or endure this legal morass and its hardness.
After the tremendous amount of support from around the world, Samaria made the grief stricken decision to be a mother. Tamir Rice was cremated.
No longer will Tamir's cold body, scarred by a bullet wound and the surgery to save him, be stuck indoors somewhere waiting on investigators and politicians to play their games.
This, of course, isn't justice or peace. Her son, a great boy who broke no law on November 22, was shot and then ignored by the very people sworn to protect him. Cremating Tamir was no easy decision, but in a society that gives a heartbroken mother so little power to advocate for her son, Samaria made the only decision she was empowered to make.
We can only hope that the deep, unthinkable pain that Tamir's family is facing is just a little less today.
Rest in peace, young man. We will never stop fighting for you.