from the Organizing Collective of Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism
As we come upon marking a year since the death of Tamir Rice, we are moved to speak out. We are moved to action. We are simply moved.
At the age of twelve, he was leaning into early adolescence, complete with a middle-school love interest. In his classroom, he hummed and slapped his hand to the music playing in his mind. He enjoyed winning at basketball, and swimming, and drawing.
He also liked to play outdoors. A fearful bystander saw Tamir Rice waving a realistic-looking toy gun outside Cudell Recreation Center in Cleveland. Responding to a 911 call, the city police sped to the scene and shot him within two seconds of arrival.
At the age of 12, Tamir Rice died.
His killing sparked many protests in response to the use of lethal force on an unarmed child. We are grateful for the many activists and advocates who joined with Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, and his community in the cry for justice. We are thankful for the many Unitarian Universalists in Ohio and beyond who voiced their outrage, including Revs. Wayne Arnason and Kathleen Rolenz. We join those who continue to press the Department of Justice to hold Tamir’s killers fully accountable.
November 23rd will mark one full year since his killing. In the past 12 months, while the Department of Justice has discovered a pattern of excessive force utilized by the Cleveland Police, there has been no action taken to resolve the Tamir Rice case. Just this week, the Rice family only found out through social media and news outlets that evidence was being presented to the Grand Jury.
We encourage all UU congregations to join with Samaria Rice in observing #YearWithoutTamir, Sunday, November 22, 2015.
We also support the family of Tamir Rice who are demanding:
1. An independent prosecutor in the case.
2. Release of all surveillance footage of Tamir’s death
3. The arrest and firing of the two officers involved
How Unitarian Universalists can participate in the #YearWithoutTamir:
— Register for & Attend the #YearWithoutTamir National Conference Call on Sun Nov 8 at 8PM EST — bit.ly/tamircall
— Sign the online petition. The goal is 100,000 signatures by Nov. 22. http://bit.ly/TamirPetition
— Join with others to call County Prosecutor & Dir of Public Policy http://act.colorofchange.org/call/call-prosecutor-mcginty-today/
— Weave #YearWithoutTamir into your Sunday service on Nov. 22
Let us call for justice at the end of this #YearWithoutTamir, with the conviction that justice will soon be served.