Public square is always noisy; however, for a brief moment last Tuesday, a pocket of the Cleveland landmark was filled not with the sounds of busses and construction, but with song.
A mother cries for justice.
Can you hear her say:
Oh Tamir, Tamir, we feel you here,
takin’ on the DOJ.
The few dozen singing had been part of a group of more than 50 demonstrators who’d just marched down the street to the Justice Center a few blocks away. They had spent about a half hour there on the building’s back steps, where Samaria Rice and other community organizers called on Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley and other state and federal authorities to reopen a case against the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice, Samaria’s son.
Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann, almost immediately after arriving on the scene, fatally shot Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old who was playing with a toy airsoft gun, outside the Cudell Recreation Center on Nov. 22, 2014. The United States Department of Justice had been investigating the incident until last year, when it officially closed the civil rights case without bringing charges against Loehmann or his police partner at the scene, Frank Garmback.
Rice and other local organizers have since been working to get the case reopened in hopes of justice. Cleveland.com reporter Adam Ferrise wrote up a succinct timeline of the major happenings in the case from the time Loehmann shot Rice to now. Read it here.
The demonstrators initially gathered in Public Square around noon before grouping up to begin their march toward the Justice Center. According to a press release, Tamir’s Campaign for Justice want O’Malley to appoint a special prosecutor and reconvene a grand jury to evaluate charges of obstruction of justice and perjury charges against the officers Loehmann and Garmback before the statutes of limitations on them expire in December.
Demonstrators filled the few blocks between Public Square and the Justice Center with chants like “More justice, more peace.”
Demonstrators arrived at the Justice Center and gathered around the building’s back steps. Those in the Cuyahoga County jail towers inside the Justice Center complex pounded on the walls of their cells when they heard the demonstrators arrive. The rhythmic thuds reverberated as Josiah Quarles, one of the demonstration’s organizers, kicked off the speakers. Check out Channel 19’s livestream to hear the speeches.
Michael Indriolo is reporting fellow at The Land.
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