Hours after a grand jury declined to indict two police officers involved in the 2014 fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, the boy's mother, Samaria Rice, issued a statement to reporters. In it, she detailed her family's pain in the months since her son's death, which was exacerbated by the grand jury's decision on Monday:
Amid anger over Monday's decision not to indict the officers, people also offered a groundswell of support to Rice's family. The hashtag #ToMsRice began spreading on Twitter Monday night, with people offering their condolences to Tamir's mother:
Rice was shot and killed while standing in a Cleveland park and with a toy gun. Nearby residents, who in a 911 call said that the gun was "probably fake," had called police to the scene on Nov. 22, 2014. Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback responded to the call and shot Rice within seconds of their arrival. Video of the incident was made public and incited widespread outrage, as Rice became yet another symbol of the contentious relationship between African-American communities and law enforcement.
The family now has one more shot at justice. "We renew our request that the Department of Justice step in to conduct a real investigation into this tragic shooting of a 12-year-old child," the family's attorneys said in a statement.