The family of Tamir Rice is asking the Department of Justice to reopen the investigation into his 2014 death.
In a letter sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday, Rice’s family asked him to convene a grand jury to consider charges against the Cleveland police officer who shot and killed Rice, CNN reported.
According to the publication, part of the letter read, “The election of President Biden, your appointment, and your commitment to the rule of law, racial justice, and police reform give Tamir’s family hope that the chance for accountability is not lost forever.”
On November 22, 2014, Tamir Rice was playing with a pellet gun outside of a recreation center in Cleveland, Ohio.
Timothy Loehmann, a white police officer with the Cleveland Police Department, responded to the center after a man called 9-1-1 and said he saw someone pointing a gun at people.
Loehmann and his partner responded to the scene and Loehmann then shot and killed the 12-year-old.
According to the Associated Press, the man who called the police told dispatchers that the gun might be “fake,” but that information was never given to officers.
To charge an officer with federal civil rights charges in cases like this, the Department of Justice must prove that the officer willfully broke the law.
In this case, the Justice Department said the poor quality of surveillance video recorded prevented prosecutors from being able to determine if Rice was reaching the pellet gun before he was shot.
Loehmann was fired from the department in May 2017, but not for shooting Rice. He lost his job after investigators found out he lied about his employment history, CNN reported.
Now that Derek Chauvin has been convicted for the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, many are calling for other cases of police violence to be reopened and investigated, including Rice’s case.
We need justice for Daunte Wright
And everyone else we’ve lost.
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) April 20, 2021
I think of Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, John Crawford. Alton Sterling, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Andrés Guardado
We shouldn’t have to wait for 1 case to bear the weight of them all. We want justice every time. We want cops not to kill us.
— alex medina (@mrmedina) April 20, 2021
This isn’t just about George Floyd. It’s about Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Daunte Wright & Rodney King.
And even more so, it’s about the value of Black life in America.
— Bryan Behar (@bryanbehar) April 20, 2021
George Floyd’s family got the justice that escaped Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Alton Sterling, Stephon Clark and on and on and on#DerekChauvinTrial
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) April 20, 2021
If you or someone you know is experiencing trauma triggered by police violence, resources are available for you here.