The mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot dead by a Cleveland police officer last year, is calling for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office to step aside and is asking for a special prosecutor to take control of the criminal investigation into her son’s death.
“Since the senseless shooting of my son Tamir Rice I have had many sleepless nights and days,” Samaria Rice said at a news conference in Cleveland today, appearing alongside her attorneys. “Almost a year now, no justice, no peace.”
Sheku Bayoh’s family lawyer has called on serving police officers to “break rank and speak out” in light of this week’s revelations into the case.
A BBC investigation claimed that the Bayoh family were contacted in July by a close relative of PC Alan Paton, one of the officers involved in Mr Bayoh’s initial arrest, who claimed he had a history of racism and violence.
Since then, several other members of Mr Paton’s family have stepped forward to assist the Bayohs in their search for the truth, and the PIRC are set to talk to those individuals to help them build up a picture of Mr Paton’s background.
Alesia Thomas was already handcuffed on that July 2012 evening when a veteran police officer hit and kicked the 35-year-old, cursing at Thomas as she shoved her in the back of a squad car in South Los Angeles.
Thomas gasped for air and asked for an ambulance, looking into a patrol car camera with wide eyes. A few minutes later, her head fell backward as she lost consciousness. She died at a hospital.
Two years before a national debate erupted over policing, Thomas’ arrest renewed scrutiny of how Los Angeles police used force during seemingly routine calls and underscored how cameras could help monitor officers. The assault led to a felony conviction and jail time for the officer, Mary O’Callaghan, a rare outcome in cases where police are accused of using excessive force.
Since our last update on the incident on the 21st August, when the police shot a Brixton resident, there have been further reports in The Guardian and Daily Mirror.
Both papers named the victim as Nathaniel Brophy, a 34 year old mixed race man, and quoted remarks from his father Patrice Duval.
These reports raise new concerns:
The victim was surrendering
The police and IPCC had previously emphasised the claim that they found a “non police firearm” at the site, and used this to imply that Mr Brophy was threatening them, and had to be shot to prevent him doing harm.