Two years ago, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer after a 911 caller stated that he had a gun, and was pointing it at people in a local park. Once officers Frank Garmback and Timothy Loehmann responded to the call, the latter fired two shots immediately following their arrival.
Upon further investigation, it was a pellet gun that Rice had in his hand, but given the officer’s swift response, the sixth grader’s untimely death served as one of the main catalysts for the Black Lives Matter organization. The gazebo where he was killed became a memorial location for Rice, but according to the Associated Press, his mother, Samaria Rice, initially wanted the gazebo to be teared down.
She later changed her mind after realizing how impactful the symbol of the gazebo is, and city officials agreed to allowing Chicago’s Stony Island Arts Bank museum to host the structure. According to Tamir’s mother, she “wanted the gazebo to become a symbol for what happened to him.” Samaria’s attorney, Bill Joe Mills, also told CNN that they also “hope to elevate the gazebo into a symbol of the civil rights movement.”
In place of the gazebo, a tree and memorial plaque in Tamir’s remembrance will be cemented.
Deconstruction of the Tamir Rice gazebo begins. pic.twitter.com/tIEehzhme1
— Newsradio WTAM 1100 (@wtam1100) September 14, 2016