The mother of an unarmed black 12-year-old who was shot by Cleveland police says she’s now living in a homeless shelter.
Tamir Rice was shot by police in November less than two seconds after officers got out of their car to confront Rice. Now, according to a court motion filed on Monday by lawyers representing Rice’s family in a lawsuit against the city of Cleveland, the Cleveland pre-teen’s mother Samaria Rice has moved out of her home because of the trauma of living near where her son was killed.
“Samaria Rice, Rice’s mother, has since been forced to move into a homeless shelter because she could no longer live next door to the killing field of her son,” the motion said.
A spokesman for Cleveland’s mayor’s office said the mayor was unaware of Samaria Rice’s situation, but that the city was not responsible for homeless individuals seeking housing. He said that the city would try to help if Rice’s family asked.
“We had not heard from her asking for any assistance on that, if she is looking for that we can certainly try to provide help for her,” city spokesman Dan Williams said.
According to Cleveland.com, Rice’s motion was filed in response to a request from the city asking a judge to halt Rice’s civil suit until Cuyahoga County prosecutors decide whether to press criminal charges against the officers. The city said that the civil suit will interfere with the ongoing investigation.
“Here, it is undisputed the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Officer Garmback and Officer Loehmann about the same incident that is the subject of this civil action,” city attorneys representing the two officers accused of shooting Rice said in court documents. “If the civil discovery were to proceed simultaneously at the same time, therefore, it would unduly interfere with the integrity of the criminal proceedings.”
On Monday, Rice’s family held a press conference saying that they will proceed with the lawsuit, citing emotional duress and concerns that witnesses memories could erode overtime, which the family fears will weaken their case.
“Ask how long will it take for Cleveland to give this family some justice,” Rice’s attorney Walter Madison said, according to WKYC.
“If they can’t give this case the time, the man power and the effort that it deserves, turn it over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation so something can be done,” Samaria Rice’s uncle Mike said.