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Tamir Rice’s family asks Justice Department to reopen investigation into 12-year-old’s death

Tamir Rice’s family asks Justice Department to reopen investigation into 12-year-old’s death

Tamir Rice’s family asks Justice Department to reopen investigation into 12-year-old’s death

WASHINGTON – The family of 12-year-old Tamir Rice is asking the Justice Department to reopen its investigation into the boy’s 2014 shooting and to convene a grand jury that would consider charges against the Cleveland police officers involved in his death. 

Drawing from President Joe Biden’s promise to reinvigorate investigations of police actions and Attorney General Merrick Garland’s pledge to prioritize civil rights, Rice’s family is asking the Justice Department to revisit evidence that the previous administration deemed insufficient to warrant prosecution. fdg

“The election of President Biden, your appointment, and your commitment to the rule of law, racial justice, and police reform give Tamir’s family hope that the chance for accountability is not lost forever,” according to a letter the Rice family’s lawyers sent to Garland Friday.

Tomiko Shine holds up a picture of Tamir Rice during a protest in Washington, D.C. Rice was fatally shot by a rookie police officer in Cleveland on Nov. 22, 2014. The 12-year-old was holding a toy gun while playing in the park when he was shot and killed.

Rice’s death at the hands of police helped fuel the Black Lives Matter movement and was, for years, part of the national conversation on use of force against people of color. The deaths of Black citizens during police encounters have continued to ignite nationwide protests and calls for reform. The renewed plea from Rice’s family comes as the country watches the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd, while in Chicago, police body camera footage released Thursday appears to show 13-year-old Adam Toledo with his hands up when he was shot. 

“Tamir would have been 19 years old in June,” his mother, Samaria Rice, said in a statement. “I’m still in so much pain because no one has been held accountable for the criminal act that took his life.”

Spokesman Anthony Coley said the Justice Department has received the letter and will be reviewing it. “We extend our deepest condolences to the Rice family,” Coley said.

The department under former President Donald Trump and former Attorney General William Barr declined to pursue criminal charges in Rice’s death, saying there was not enough evidence to prove that Cleveland police officers used excessive force against the boy.

usatoday | gulfmorningnews

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