The parents of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was killed by an Ohio police officer at a park in Cleveland on Saturday, are requesting city officials release the complete video of the incident.
“While we request the release of the complete video, we also ask for the media to give our family privacy as we continue to grieve and learn about what happened. We feel the actions of the patrol officer who took our son’s life must be made public,” the boy’s parents, Samaria Rice and Leonard Warner, wrote in a statement.
“Though the hurt our family feels is too painful for words to describe, we still have faith in the justice system,” they added.
The shooting was captured on surveillance video, but authorities speaking at a news conference on Monday said they didn’t know when the footage would be released to the public. They also disclosed that a Cleveland grand jury will decide whether or not to indict the police officer who fatally shot Rice.
On Saturday afternoon, two officers responded to a 911 call from a person outside of the Cudell Recreation Center who described seeing “a guy in here with a pistol,” according to audio files of correspondence with an emergency dispatcher. Police arrived and ordered the suspect to raise his hands. When the 12-year-old reportedly didn’t comply and reached into his waistband for the gun, officers fired shots that struck the boy in the torso. Rice died early Sunday morning.
Rice’s parents on Tuesday urged their community to remain calm and to demonstrate peacefully. Their plea is similar to that of Michael Brown’s parents, who learned on Monday the police officer who fatally shot and killed their teenage son won’t be indicted in connection with the incident. The Browns called on their supporters to help them campaign to ensure that all police officers working around the country wear body cameras.
Rice’s family hasn’t shared with the public their plans for a funeral.