Thursday (June 25) marked what would’ve been Tamir Rice’s 18th birthday. The young boy was only 12 years old when he was fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer as he played with a toy gun at a local park.
Ex-police officer Timothy Loehmann shot and killed Rice within seconds of arriving to the recreation center. A grand jury decided against an indictment. Loehmann was fired from the department in 2017, but not for the shooting. He was terminated for lying on his application and violating other policies.
Loehmann was later hired as an officer in Ohio, but withdrew his application after news surfaced of his newfound employment. The Rice family was awarded a $6 million settlement in a lawsuit against the city. Cleveland admitted no wrongdoing in the suit. This year will make six years since the shooting took place.
Ohio State Representative Juanita Brent released a statement to commemorate what would have been Rice’s 18th birthday.
“Tamir should be here to celebrate his 18th birthday. In the six years since his passing, we still lack police reform to prevent this from happening to someone else’s son,” she said. “We, as the General Assembly, must take action and not just remember. Police officer training is insufficient when it comes to dealing with noncriminal behavior. There has to be a focus on de-escalation, implicit bias, racial equity and cultural competence training that is utilized when interacting with the public.”
According to News 5 Cleveland, on Saturday, June 27, Rice’s family will host a “grab bag giveaway” for the children in the Cleveland community. The event will take place in the Saint Martin de Porres High school parking lot from 1 pm to 3 pm. Registration will begin at 1 pm and is required to be able to attend the event. Social distancing guidelines will be implemented.