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Tamir Rice's Mother Explains Why She Isn't Endorsing Any Presidential Candidate

During her "Justice For Tamir Speak Out Tour," the mother of the slain 12-year-old explained her reluctance to stand by any presidential candidate. 

Over the past few weeks, mothers of slain Black men and children have come out in support of presidential candidates, but Tamir Rice's mother has been silent about which political candidate has her vote.

On Tuesday, (March 15) Samaria Rice penned an essay via Medium, explaining her refusal to stand by any of the presidential candidates. While traveling the nation for her Justice for Tamir Speak Out Tour, Rice says she's been asked the overbearing political question, which has proven to be a painful reminder for Rice that politicians and lawmakers have failed to do much to combat improper police practices towards people of color.

"For over a year, I’ve waited to see if any candidate or official, including my state’s governor, would release a plan of action that addressed the failures and inhumane decisions responsible for my son’s death," she said. "While I’ve waited, I’ve been speaking out for true action, with changes that would help prevent another tragedy like Tamir’s murder, changes that truly hold these police accountable and give people power in the communities we live in."

Rice also mentions how former Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty blamed the 12-year-old for his own death, and Ohio Mayor (and presidential candidate) John Kasich's vague statements on her son have done more harm than good.

In November 2014, Rice was fatally shot and killed by Cleveland police officers who mistook his toy gun for an actual pistol. McGinty refused to bring charges against Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback last year, despite claims of falsified reports and department violations committed by the officers.

In closing, Rice says more has to be done with criminal justice other than just accountability. "My experience has let me know that the system is working just the way the people in power want it to," she explained.  "That is why I refuse to accept plans or support politicians that offer what they propose as solutions, not informed by us, the community. I cannot settle for partial solutions and lip service. I know we need real action, and I refuse to endorse any candidate that offers less."

Other mothers of the movement such as Sybrina Fulton (Trayvon Martin), Gwen Carr (Eric Garner) and Lucia McBath (Jordan Davis) have given their support to Hillary Clinton. Eric Garner's daughter, Erica Garner, has backed Bernie Sanders.

While Rice's killers haven't been brought to justice, the public has found effective ways to change the makeup of district attorneys at the voting polls. On Tuesday, McGinty conceded his re-election bid to Democratic challenger Mike O’Malley. Chicago district attorney Anita Alvarez was also defeated in the primaries by challenger Kim Foxx. Activists even birthed the hashtag, #ByeAnita for her role in keeping McDonald's death away from the public.

As the Democratic candidates continue to push for Black votes, Rice's essay proves it will take more than bold statements  to capture it.

Read her essay in its entirety, here.

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Michigan Judge Refuses To Release Black Teen Jailed For Not Doing School Work

A Michigan judge has refused to release a 15-year-old Black girl who was jailed for failing to complete her online school work. On Monday (July 20), Judge Mary Brennan denied a motion to release the teen who has been locked up at a juvenile facility since May.

According to Pro Publica, the teen’s lawyer argued that she hasn't received adequate education and proper support while in the facility. Judge Brennan believes that the girl has a ways to go before she can be released.

“I think you are exactly where you are supposed to be,” Brennan said. “You are blooming there, but there’s more work to be done.”

During the hourlong hearing, the girl and her mother were allowed to embrace for the first time in months due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“This morning for you, respectfully, it is going to get worse before it gets better,” Judge Brennan told the high school sophomore before going through her reported history of bad behavior. “Because I am about over all the crap, all the negative, all the prior attempts at helping I am going through it all.”

Judge Brennan’s husband, attorney Ed Lennon, defended her decision. Lennon claims that the public is being “misled” about why the girl is in juvenile detention, and implied that she is a danger to her mother.

The teen, who has ADHD, was previously arrested for assault and theft after reportedly biting her mother and pulling her hair, along with stealing a fellow student’s cell phone. She was taken into custody after it was determined that she violated her probation by not completing her school work.

In March, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order temporarily suspending juvenile confinement unless the person poses a “substantial and immediate” risk to others.

As many students around the globe are adjusting to at-home learning in wake of the pandemic, some are falling behind in their studies. According to a new report, at least 800,000 students lack access to reliable internet, making it difficult to access to learning materials.

 

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Hanging Death Of Robert Fuller Ruled A Suicide

The hanging death of Robert Fuller has been ruled a suicide, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department announced last Thursday (July 9).

The conclusion was based on evidence at the scene, physical logistics, information from family, lack of evidence ruling out a suicide, and “clinically-documented statements of suicidal intent” made by Fuller years earlier, per a news release from the LASD.

Jason Hicks, an attorney representing Fuller’s family affirmed the results of the investigation. “I don’t have any evidence found to contradict the ruling that his death was a suicide,” Hicks told the press last week.

Members of Fuller’s family  previously alluded to a racist message found beneath his feet, but Hicks reiterated that the incident was not a hate crime. “There were no racist sentiments, no symbols or anything in the area, so we don’t have any information to suggest that it was a hate crime.”

Fuller, 24, was found hanging from a tree outside of City Hall in Palmdale, Calif., last month. His death sparked outrage and protests, and was one of several recent hanging deaths of Black males, including a teen found hanging in front of a Texas elementary school. The Harris County Sheriff's Office said that the death was believed to be a  suicide.

Malcolm Harsch, whose death was confirmed to be a suicide, was found hanging from a tree in Victorville, Calif. in May. Another Black man, 27-year-old Dominique Alexander, was found hanging from a tree in the Bronx on June 9. A petition  has been launched calling for a federal investigation into Alexander's death.

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San Francisco Lawmaker Proposes CAREN Act To Criminalize Racist 911 Calls

A California lawmaker introduced an ordinance that could criminalize racist 911 calls. San Francisco supervisor Shamann Walton presented the CAREN Act during a Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday (July 7).

“Racist calls are unacceptable,” Walton tweeted. “That’s why I’m introducing the CAREN Act at today’s SF Board of Supervisors meeting. This is the CAREN we need. Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies.

Racist 911 calls are unacceptable that's why I'm introducing the CAREN Act at today’s SF Board of Supervisors meeting. This is the CAREN we need. Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies. #CARENact #sanfrancisco

— Shamann Walton (@shamannwalton) July 7, 2020

The measure is similar to a bill proposed by a New York Senator in 2018, and another proposed by California Assembly member Rob Banta last month to help end “discriminatory 911 calls motivated by an individual’s race, religion, sex, or any other protected class by designating such reports as a hate crime.”

Making a false police report is a criminal misdemeanor offense under California law, but there is currently no legislation criminalizing discriminatory 911 calls.

In related news, a white New Yorker named Amy Cooper could face criminal charges for calling 911 on a birdwatching Black man in Central Park after he informed her that her dog needed to be leashed. Chris Cooper, who has no relation to Amy Cooper, filmed the viral video in May. However, Chris has refused to cooperate with the District Attorney efforts to bring charges against Amy because she “already paid a steep price,” and “Bringing her more misery just seems liking pilling on.”

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