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Intersection Episode 9: Tamir Rice Has Been Dead for a Year

Host Jamil Smith looks back at the police killing of a 12-year-old boy in his hometown, Cleveland.

Jordan Gonzalez/Getty Images

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Tamir Rice was a 12-year-old boy from Cleveland, Ohio. He liked basketball, and going out to restaurants. He was a bit tall for his age. He had a best friend, and an older sister. 

Tamir was a normal kid with a regular life. His death, tragically, was neither. 

On November 22, 2014, Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann shot Tamir as he was playing with an unloaded BB gun outside a rec center, with his sister nearby. He died the next day.

The death of a child, the subsequent delay in bringing the case to trial, and the fact that the police officers still have jobs are details of Tamir’s story that are both uniquely devastating and all too familiar.

Family snapshot of Tamir Rice
Wikimedia Commons

In this episode of Intersection, we revisit Tamir Rice’s life and death, a year after the shooting. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Connie Schultz and Washington Post national reporter Wesley Lowery, both Cleveland natives, join host Jamil Smith to discuss the case and what it says about racism, gun violence, and police brutality in America. They also delve into the consent decree that the city of Cleveland entered into with the U.S. Justice Department to reform its police practices.

Then, Jamil interviews Tamir’s grandmother, Mildretta Warner-Davis, and the attorney for Tamir’s father, Walter Madison. “He was just a kid out there playing by himself,” Warner-Davis said, her voice cracking on the line. “He wasn’t no threat, but he’s dead.”

Read more about Tamir’s case and its developments: