The very same day that a grand jury chose not to indict an NYPD officer for the death of Eric Garner, Samaria Rice was forced to say goodbye to her son one final time. Last month, preteen Tamir Rice was shot twice in the chest by rookie police officer Tim Loehmann in a Cleveland, Ohio park for pulling out a toy gun. He died later that night at a nearby hospital.
Services for the Marion C. Seltzer School student were held Wednesday morning at the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, NBC reports. At the funeral service, Tamir was remembered by those who knew him best as a well-liked child who enjoyed drawing and playing basketball.
“Tamir consistently came to school every day,” the boy’s sixth grade teacher Carletta Goodwin told mourners as her voice broke. “He would tap on his desk, he would sing to himself,” she continued. “I would say, ‘OK, that’s enough’ because he would get the rest of the class going.”
“I thank you for your son’s life,” she told Tamir’s grieving mother. “He will be greatly missed.”
The sixth grader’s great-uncle, Michael Petty also addressed the 250 grieving attendees.
“He was suddenly and needlessly taken from us. His young, fragile life was snuffed out like a candle in the wind,” Petty said. “Police officers are public servants — not James Bond with a license to kill.”
At the conclusion of the service, Pastor Henry Currie assured mourners that Tamir’s death was not in vain.
“He lived a beautiful, awesome life of 12 years because his parents, his extended family … raised him to know beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt that his life had a purpose, value and meaning.”
We send our prayers to the Rice family.