Over and over again, those of us sympathetic to the Black Lives Matter movement have stood up in outrage to the senseless deaths of victims like Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and now Freddie Gray. But have we been paying enough attention to what happens to the victims’ families in the months that follow?
The heartbreaking story of Tamir Rice reminds us just how important it is to stay vigilant about the events that continue to unfold around the victims at the center of the black lives matter movement even when they’re no longer making headlines. Over six months after being shot dead by a Cleveland police officer, 12-year-old Rice has yet to be buried. His body is still part of the ongoing investigation surrounding his death; those reviewing on the case are holding onto the corpse in case they need it for additional medical examination.
Simultaneously, the Cuyahogoa County Sheriff’s Department is stalling the Rice family’s lawsuit to conduct an independent investigation on the case. Neither of the officers involved with Rice’s death, Timothy Loehmann or Frank Garmback, have faced charges.
There’s no telling how much the family has been suffering through this ordeal. Not only are they afraid that eyewitness to the story will forget helpful details for their case, but Rice’s mother, Samaria Rice, has retreated to living in a homeless shelter since her son’s death. She explains that she “could no longer live next door to the killing field of her son.”
The fact that Rice still can’t rest in peace is, simply put, total bullshit.
Our thoughts go out to the Rice family at this time. We’ll be sure to give you updates as the story develops.