Community remembers Tamir Rice 5 years later


(CNN) – It’s been nearly 5 years since a Cleveland Police officer shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

The event sparked protests around the country and the world.

Wednesday night, hundreds of people packed the Cleveland Museum of Art to celebrate his life, and his mother talked about how his legacy will live on.

It was a celebration of life, love, and action.

“We have the power to transform a grave injustice into something that will stand for a world where all of our lives will finally matter,” said Opal Tometi with Black Lives Matter.

Trailblazers from across the country and in northeast Ohio joined together to mourn the death of Tamir Rice nearly 5 years later.

“I was thrust into this life, and it was not the life that I chose, this is God’s plan,” said Tamir’s mom Samaria.

12-year-old Tamir was shot and killed by Cleveland Police officer Timothy Loehmann while playing with a toy gun in a park.

His mother Samaria Rice is still broken.

“It has not been easy in a society where humanity is our last consideration,” she said.

Nowadays she puts much of her energy into police reform.

“I’m here to make it uncomfortable because we need some change,” she says.

And now Samaria is adding something else to the list: the Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center.

She says it’s her new baby.

“Where I put all of my nurturing that I had for Tamir, I put it all in there,” she said.

“The Tamir Rice Foundation has some really big plans for this cultural center. They want to put in a music studio and an art station and they want the community to help make this big dream a reality.”

Samaria took media to the building in the 6000 block of St. Clair last year when she bought it. The rooms were empty and a bit run down, but now there’s a vision.

And Tamir’s spirit will live on through this community, the center, and his mother, who still hasn’t given up.

“I am a woman, I am a mother and I am an activist for change,” she said.

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