As deliberations continue in the case of Tamir Rice, the mother and siblings of the slain 12-year-old appeared before a grand jury to offer their testimony.
According to Cleveland.com, the family’s attorney issued a statement saying that Samaria Rice recounted the moment she found out that her son had been killed.
“[Samaria] had the opportunity to ask the grand jury to consider whether it could possibly be ‘reasonable’ or ‘justifiable’ for officers to speed across the grass when driveways were nearby, rush up to Tamir and shoot him immediately,” the statement said, referring to various reports that have found the officer’s actions “reasonable.” “She believes that the answer is plainly no and hopes and prays that the grand jury agrees that there is probably cause to indict the officers and hold them accountable for her son’s death.”
However, a representative for the police officer’s union opposes Samaria and her children appearing before the grand jury, saying that testimony is typically reserved for witnesses.
“Just add it to the list of things that haven’t been typical,” said Cleveland police union head Steve Loomis to Cleveland.com. “Usually the only people who testify at grand juries are some type of material witness. I don’t know what she would have had to offer other than the obvious emotion of a mother, and I understand that.”
Cleveland Officer Timothy Loehmann fatally shot Tamir, who was holding a toy gun, on November 22, 2014 in a public park. Loehmann has never been charged with Rice’s death.