Tamir Rice’s mom makes safety handbook for interactions with police
Five years after 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer, his mother approached the American Civil Liberties Union in Ohio with an idea.
Samaria Rice wanted to create a safety handbook to help guide young people in their interactions with police, ACLU Ohio said on Facebook.
“Even when you do everything right, things can still go wrong,” the organization said.
The “Tamir Rice Safety Handbook,” an 8-page online guide, includes sections on what to do if police stop you, ask you questions, want to search you or begin arresting you.
“Know that police can lie and ask trick questions,” the handbook says. “If they tell you they already talked to your friend, or that you won’t be arrested if you talk, they may be lying.”
Its pages are colorful: bright yellow, red, blue and green boxes and symbols fill the pages.
That was done on purpose to make it relatable to kids, ACLU Campaigns Manager Melekte Melaka told CNN affiliate WJW.
“We hope that it’s a guide that’s accessible to young people, that gives them constructive tools, that keeps Tamir’s memory alive, and that showcases the amazing work of Samaria, all those things,” Melaka told the news station.
Samaria Rice introduced the guide last week at a commemoration for her son’s life, held by the Tamir Rice Foundation, which she founded.
“I was thrust into this life,” she said, according to the affiliate. “It’s not the life that I chose. This is God’s plan.”
In 2014, then-Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann shot Rice, who was holding a toy replica pistol.
A witness had called 911 to report someone was brandishing a gun in a park. The caller told the dispatcher the person was “probably a juvenile” and the gun was “probably fake,” records showed.
But the operator never shared those details with the responding officers and later was suspended for eight days without pay.
Video footage showed Loehmann, who was then a trainee, arriving in a squad car that was driven by officer Frank Garmback. The car moved close to Rice and less than two seconds later, Loehmann shot the boy.
The two officers both said in written statements in 2015 they thought Rice was pulling out a real gun from his waistband. A grand jury declined to indict either of the officers.
Loehmann was fired in 2017 because investigators found he wasn’t truthful about his employment history when he applied for the job, officials said. Garmback was suspended.
In 2016, the city of Cleveland settled a federal lawsuit filed by Rice’s family for $6 million.
CNN’s Jason Hanna and Amanda Watts continued to this report.