Attorney: Mother of Tamir Rice wept so much she couldn't speak

The Rice family attorney released a statement on their behalf after the grand jury made their decision.

CLEVELAND -- Samaria Rice, the mother of a 12-year-old shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer, wept so much she could barely speak, her attorney Subodh Chandra reported.

Chandra made the comments in an interview Monday evening with WKYC Channel 3's Hilary Golston, after the news came down that the grand jury would not indict the officers in the Tamir Rice case.

Chandra had strong words for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty, as did Rice's family. Both indicated their belief that McGinty intentionally tried to produce a non-indictment.

RELATED | Full coverage of the Tamir Rice case

"The entire process that the prosecutor then orchestrated was designed...under the guise of transparency to selectively leak information to try to prepare the public to accept a travesty of injustice," said Chandra told Golston. "And a travesty of injustice is what has occurred."

"The prosecutor's behavior was corrupt," said Chandra. "And it was in the sense that it was so extremely biased in favor of exonerating the officers that Tamir Rice never had a chance. The Rice family never had a chance."

In a statement, the Rice family echoed Chandra's statements, writing, "After this investigation—which took over a year to unfold—and Prosecutor McGinty's mishandling of this case, we no longer trust the local criminal-justice system, which we view as corrupt."

"Prosecutor McGinty deliberately sabotaged the case, never advocating for my son, and acting instead like the police officers' defense attorney. In a time in which a non-indictment for two police officers who have killed an unarmed black child is business as usual, we mourn for Tamir, and for all of the black people who have been killed by the police without justice. In our view, this process demonstrates that race is still an extremely troubling and serious problem in our country and the criminal-justice system."

 

"I don't want my child to have died for nothing and I refuse to let his legacy or his name be ignored. We will continue to fight for justice for him, and for all families who must live with the pain that we live with."

RELATED | Prosecutor: Grand jury declines charges in Tamir Rice case

The Rice family attorney took particular issue with McGinty's decision not to cross-examine officers Frank Garmback and Timothy Loehmann during their testimony before the grand jury.

"Prosecutor McGinty failed not only the Rice family, he failed this entire community...he failed the criminal justice system," Chandra told Golston.

Chandra also maintains McGinty should have let another prosecutor handle the case.

"Prosecutor Tim McGinty should have never been involved in this case. He should have stepped aside for an independent prosecutor," said Chandra. "A prosecutor who is so close to the police and works with them day in and day out and has his whole career, needs to step aside for a truly independent special prosecutor who is civil rights oriented...willing to look at police officer conduct, just as we would look at ordinary citizens."

 From Chandra's perspective, the family's labeling of the Cuyahoga County criminal justice system as "corrupt" is a matter of partiality.

"The prosecutor's behavior was corrupt... and it was in the sense that it was so extremely biased in favor of exonerating the officers that Tamir Rice never had a chance," said Chandra. "The Rice family never had a chance."

While, according to Chandra, McGinty was attempting to "prepare the public" for a no bill by "selectively leaking" information about the case, he said Tamir's mother was still hoping for a different outcome.

"She was still clinging to that thread of hope, even though the prosecutor had more than shown his hand in his efforts to try to orchestrate an exoneration for these officers," said Chandra.

The Rice family attorney declined to speak about the status of civil proceedings that are currently playing out in federal court.

However, he said the officers involved in the case have been seeking continuous stays from federal court while the grand jury process was unfolding. He says they may finally face the cross-examination the family was seeking on the criminal side. 

RELATED | Attorney for Officer Frank Garmback speaks on Tamir Rice decision

Watch the full interview with Subodh Chandra below:

 


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