Samaria Rice is the mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old who was fatally shot by Cleveland police officers while holding a toy gun on November 22.
By fighting publicly for justice for her son, she is now at the forefront of the public debate over recent, prominent cases of black men and boys dying in confrontations with police.
Here’s what you should know about Tamir Rice’s mom:
1. She’s Looking for a Conviction
Rice gave an interview to ABC News Monday, her first since the shooting, and revealed that she hopes the investigation into the shooting ends in a conviction of both officers involved.
“I’m looking for a conviction for both of the officers,” she said.
2. Her Teen Daughter Was Tackled by Police at the Scene of Tamir’s Death
Also in her ABC interview, Rice revealed that her 14-year-old daughter, who had been with Tamir outside the rec center where he was killed, was “handcuffed” and placed in the back of a police cruiser after the shooting.
Samaria arrived to the scene to find her daughter screaming for her in the police car and her son on the ground. The police “weren’t doing anything” to help Tamir, claimed Samaria.
She says she was given the option of riding with her critically injured son in the ambulance or with her 14-year-old daughter in the police car when the police would not release her daughter.
3. She Is Represented by the Lawyer for Trayvon Martin’s & Mike Brown’s Families
While originally represented by lawyer Tim Kucharski, Rice is now working with Benjamin Crump, who has been in the news for his representation of the families in high-profile cases like those of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown.
The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit Friday that named the two officers involved and the city of Cleveland. The suit said,
“The Defendant Officers had ample opportunity to safely provide clear, unhurried commands to the startled young boy but instead rapidly confronted him with their cruiser and their guns and shot him all within two seconds.”
4. They Are Calling for No Grand Jury
Rice and her attorney Crump have said that she and the family do not want a grand jury involved in the case.
Along with Rice, Crump is making the argument that the cops involved in the shootings should be directly charged, rather than going through a grand jury, after the widespread outcry after the findings of grand juries in Ferguson (the Mike Brown case) and New York (the Eric Garner case).
5. She Says Toy Guns Were Not Allowed in the House
Rice spoke to the media Monday morning from a local church. She told the gathered reporters, “I don’t allow that type of toy in my house, around him, period.”
She said that he must have gotten the toy gun from friends in the park.
She also told the media that she had been alerted to Tamir’s shooting by two young boys who ran to her house from the nearby park to inform her that her son had been shot by police.