Recently, we’ve witnessed as the mothers and family members of Black men, women, and children unjustifiably killed have stepped up to endorse a presidential candidate, most notably, a Democratic presidential candidate in the forms of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
On Tuesday this week, Samaria Rice, mother of slain 12-year old Tamir Rice, revealed she doesn’t plan to follow that path in an essay she released via Medium.
She has been traveling the nation on her Justice for Tamir Speak Out Tour, noting she’s been asked the question all too often on which candidate has her vote, and her decision to go with neither (publicly) is based on the fact that she feels candidates aren’t adequately addressing the problem.
“Instead of plans for justice and accountability, I have been shown several plans for criminal justice reform, none that address my experience of the entire system being guilty. Those plans don’t address the many ways elected officials become exempt to accountability and the legal flaws that allow them to extend that exemption to cops who kill.”
Rice made clear her emphasis on accountability rather than reform, noting Cuyahogo County prosecutor Timothy McGinty‘s statements Tamir Rice was responsible for his own death.
It was in November of 2014 that Tamir Rice was fatally shot and killed by Cleveland police officers who thought his toy gun was an actual pistol. McGinty infamously failed to bring charges against the officers involved after a grand jury declined to indict them, despite evidence of false reports and department violations committed during and following the incident.
McGinty repeatedly backed the officers justifications that a young Rice appeared to be in his 20s, stating Tamir was “big for his age.”
Rice’s disenchantment with elected officials isn’t an isolated emotion, and McGinty recently lost his bid for re-election as voters gave their support to Democrat Mike O’Malley to serve as their newest county prosecutor.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have made a big effort to capture the Black vote, recruiting notable names and figures to endorse their cause, but Samaria Rice has made it clear that there are still specifics pertinent to the Black community that candidates must address to tap into the overwhelming response they’ll need come November 2016.
You can read her post in its entirety here via Medium