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A Call For Charges In Tamir Rice Case At Downtown Cleveland Rally

Black Lives Matter Cleveland and members of Tamir Rice’s family are calling on officials to reconsider charges against the two Cleveland police officers involved in the 12-year-old’s 2014 death.

“This is to create pressure and to put pressure on Mike O’Malley to open up Tamir’s case and charge Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback in the murder and perjury charges in Tamir Rice,” Samaria Rice, Tamir’s mother, said during a rally Friday outside the Justice center.

Rice was flanked by an armed Black Panther guard and members of her family.

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An armed guard escorted Tamir Rice's mother, Samaria Rice, during Friday's rally in Downtown Cleveland. [Matthew Richmond / ideastream]

Held on a cold, rainy Friday afternoon with a few dozen people in attendance, the rally had a light police presence. Before the rally started, Third District Commander Dorothy Todd spoke with organizers. After she departed, no police officers or patrol cars monitored the demonstration.

After listening to speakers, the group marched from the Justice Center the federal courthouse, where police blocked traffic and several more speakers addressed the crowd.

Black Lives Matter Cleveland co-founder Kareem Henton called for a different kind of U.S. attorney under President-elect Joe Biden.

"All of the preceding U.S. attorneys have been corporate attorneys and former prosecutors. So what do you think they’re going to do when they get this job?” Henton said.

Justin Herdman, who left the job as Northern Ohio’s top federal prosecutor a week ago after three years in the job, was previously a partner at the law firm Jones Day. His predecessor, Steve Dettelbach, was a partner at BakerHostetler.

The U.S. Department of Justice recently announced that it was closing its investigations into Loehmann and Garmback for civil rights violations and obstruction of justice.

The demonstrators on Friday hadn’t given up for a reopened investigation.

“He will never be forgotten,” said Joshua Quarles of local police reform group Black Spring Cleveland. “Nor the thousands, hundreds of thousands who came before him who are victims of this American genocide over the past 400 years. They are not forgotten. They are with us and they make us stronger.”

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