Tamir Rice's Mother Wants Councilman Zack Reed to Disavow Police Union Endorsement
When the Cleveland police union endorsed Zack Reed for mayor last week, the city councilman Tweeted he was “extremely honored.” That isn’t sitting well with Samaria Rice. Her 12-year-old son, Tamir, had been playing at a park with an air pellet gun in 2014 when he was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer.
Samaria Rice says she doesn’t want Reed’s sympathy for Tamir's death.
“Please spare me, Zack Reed,” Rice said at a press conference in her lawyer's office. "If you were sympathetic, then you would not have said you were extremely honored to be endorsed by the Cleveland police union and Steve Loomis and his organization that has insulted me and my family over and over again.”
Loomis is the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association and has been an outspoken supporter of the police officer who shot Tamir. In the past, he has said Rice should use her settlement money from the city to educate children about the “dangers of possessing a real or replica firearm.” He was among the union leadership who voted to endorse Reed over incumbent Mayor Frank Jackson.
“Politicians who embrace the police union and Steve Loomis's support the way Zack Reed has is not a friend of the people of Cleveland and cannot be trusted with our lives,” says Rice. She says the councilman should disavow the endorsement.
Reed says, “That’s not gonna happen.”
He says he has advocated for police reform, spoken up against police when he believes they’ve stepped out of line, and supported the Rice family since Tamir died.
“I’ve stood with that entire family and other families,” says Reed. “If they had a problem with Loomis, they should have taken that up with Loomis. They should have not brought in anybody outside of their disagreement with Loomis and the CPPA. And they should not have brought me.”
Rice’s lawyer also asked Reed to return any political contributions he may received from the police union. Reed says he’s never received any money from them.