The family of a 12-year-old black boy who was fatally shot by a white Cleveland police officer last year, has called for a special prosecutor to take control of the criminal investigation into her son's death.
"Since the senseless shooting of my son Tamir Rice I have had many sleepless nights and days," Samaria Rice said at a news conference in Cleveland Friday. "Almost a year now, no justice, no peace."
Rice, along with her attorney, asked that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty to step down and allow an independent prosecutor to take over.
"Do you all think that the killing of my child was constitutionally justified?" Samira Rice said. "I am praying the public continues to ask questions and seeks the truth. I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. Please continue to support us in getting justice for Tamir."
Tamir was fatally shot on Nov. 22 by Cleveland rookie cop Timothy Loehmann, who with his partner, Frank Garmback, were called to a recreation center where Tamir was holding a pellet gun.
Police responding to the scene initially believed the pellet gun, which did not have an orange tip identifying it as a replica, was real.
Loehmann fired on Tamir within less than two seconds of arriving, surveillance footage shows, and the boy died in the hospital the next day.
Reports from two outside experts, requested by the prosecutors office and made public Saturday night, found that the rookie patrolman who shot Tamir moments after pulling up beside him exercised a reasonable use of force because he had reason to perceive the boy — described in a 911 call as man waving and pointing a gun — as a serious threat.
Rice’s attorney called the “so-called experts" reports “pro-police and fundamentally flawed.”
The killing of Tamir has become part of a national outcry about minorities, especially black boys and men, dying during encounters with police.
Photo Credit: AP