In a TV One NewsOne Now exclusive interview, Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice, discusses prosecutor Timothy McGinty’s actions, lack of community support, if LeBron James and other athletes should use their platforms to speak out about the killing of her son, and the grand jury decision not to indict officers in his death.
Last week, more than a year after Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann shot and killed Tamir, a grand jury declined to indict Loehmann and his partner, Frank Garmback, for the death of the 12-year-old.
When asked if she believed McGinty would deliver justice for her son, Rice told Roland Martin, host of NewsOne Now, “I had a hope” that justice would be served.
She explained she had a “feeling” McGinty would work to obtain justice as a result of the overwhelming evidence captured on surveillance video, as well as Tamir’s age.
“I hoped things could have been different, but due to Prosecutor McGinty and his misconduct in handling Tamir’s case — he failed to advocate for my son,” said Rice.
“He called my house and told me that the grand jury was not going to hold the officers accountable. I told him that was unacceptable” and requested a face-to-face meeting with the prosecutor.
According to Rice, McGinty said he would get in contact with her lawyers.
When she pressed McGinty to reveal what charges he “tried to advocate for,” Rice said McGinty “steered away from the question and said ‘I will get in contact with your lawyers.’”
However, during the press conference when McGinty announced the grand jury’s decision, he revealed that he did not “pursue any charges.”
McGinty “basically lied to my face the whole time and said that he was transparent with me, which he wasn’t,” Rice said. “He was very biased and I just don’t really care for him.”
When asked about McGinty’s derogatory remarks that the family was out for a “money grab,” Rice said, “That’s absurd for him to say that and the only motive I have is justice for my son, which I’ve been carrying out since day one. I’m not understanding why he’s saying that.”
During their discussion, Martin asked Ms. Rice about the support – or lack thereof – from members of the community and how the city has responded to her quest to obtain justice for her slain son.
“Some people that’s out there supporting me, that say they’re supporting me, [are] not really supporting me.” Rice added, “It’s sad to say that all of the clergy leaders that’s out there haven’t even reached out and asked me how I was doing after the grand jury response.”
Much has been made of Cleveland Cavaliers’ superstar LeBron James’ lack of a response to the shooting of Tamir through the hashtag #NoJusticeNoLeBron. Martin asked Rice if James and other athletes should “be far more forceful using their platforms to speak out.”
“I think it’s quite sad that LeBron hasn’t spoken out about my son,” Rice said.
“I’m not asking him to sit out a game. I know his kids got to eat too, but you could at least put a shirt on or something,” said Rice.
Ms. Rice did acknowledge that a few pro athletes have spoken out about the death of her son and added, “I think they should just make a statement … I’m not asking nobody to quit their job or anything but, make a statement for us Black people out here.”
Watch Roland Martin’s exclusive NewsOne Now interview with Samaria Rice in the video clip above.
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