The family of 12-year-old Tamir Rice is asking the Justice Department to reopen its investigation into the boy’s 2014 shooting and to convene a grand jury that would consider charges against the Cleveland police officers involved in his death, reports USA Today.
Drawing from President Joe Biden’s promise to reinvigorate investigations of police actions and Attorney General Merrick Garland’s pledge to prioritize civil rights, Rice’s family is asking the Justice Department to revisit evidence that the previous administration deemed insufficient to warrant prosecution.
“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,” according to a letter to Garland by attorneys for the Rice family.
Rice’s death at the hands of police helped fuel the Black Lives Matter movement and was, for years, part of the national conversation on use of force against people of color. The deaths of Black citizens during police encounters have continued to ignite nationwide protests and calls for reform. The renewed plea from Rice’s family comes as the country watches Chicago, police body camera footage released Thursday appears to show 13-year-old Adam Toledo with his hands up when he was shot.
“Tamir would have been 19 years old in June,” his mother, Samaria Rice, said in a statement. “I’m still in so much pain because no one has been held accountable for the criminal act that took his life.”