It’s been some 179 days since the Nov. 22, 2014, shooting of Tamir Rice by a Cleveland police officer. In less than two seconds, an officer gunned down Tamir after a toy gun he was playing with was mistaken for a real weapon.
Samaria Rice has lived without her 12-year-old son for six months, and yet questions still remain in the case.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. Tamir Rice’s body was kept for months in storage for the investigation before his family ultimately decided to cremate.
His family had hoped to keep his body in storage and then bury him properly after the investigation was concluded. Samaria Rice did not want to bury her son and then have to suffer the trauma of exhuming him for another examination, Daily Kos reported.
Since the shooting, Tamir’s body had been stored, costing the family around $75 a day. The glacial pace of the investigation caused the family to decide to cremate Tamir’s body earlier this month, according to the Huffington Post.
2. His mother, Samaria Rice, moved into a homeless shelter temporarily after the shooting.
Five months after Tamir’s death, Samaria Rice moved into a homeless shelter, indicating that the pain of living so close to where her son was fatally shot had become unbearable. With help from her family and online supporters’ donations, Rice has moved into a new home in Cleveland.
3. The investigation is still pending, and there is no telling if the officers will be criminally charged.
Last week the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department announced that its investigation into Tamir’s death was almost complete, but there is still no clue as to whether the officers involved in the shooting of the boy—Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback—will be criminally charged.
However, that same week, Mother Jones revealed that neither Loehmann nor Garmback had been interviewed by investigators yet. Also, Loehmann—the officer who shot Tamir—is the sole focus of the criminal investigation. Garmback, the officer who was driving the police car at the time and who stopped the car just a few footsteps from the boy, is not under criminal investigation at this time, according to Mother Jones.
4. There will be a hearing to see if a lawsuit filed by the Rice family will be put on hold pending the outcome of the investigation.
A federal judge will be holding a hearing at the beginning of June to decide whether a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Tamir’s family should be put on hold while the criminal investigation is pending.
According to Cleveland.com, lawyers for the city and the officers involved claim that their clients want to protect their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and wish to wait until the criminal case is closed so that they can give testimony at a civil trial without fear of reprisal.
However, Tamir’s family does not want to put the civil case on hold, fearing that memories may fade and people may move, thus harming the potential for a successful case.
Of course, putting the civil case on hold means that the family would have to wait even longer for a resolution, which is also costing the family money.
And still, the waiting continues.
Breanna Edwards is a newswriter at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.