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Tamir Rice: Funeral Honors 12-Year-Old Boy Shot by Police Officer

Image: Tamir Rice: Funeral Honors 12-Year-Old Boy Shot by Police Officer
Dr. C. Jay Matthews of Mt. Sinai Baptist church offers a prayer of comfort. (Lynn Ischay/The Plain Dealer/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 03 Dec 2014 06:21 PM

A funeral service was held Wednesday for Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer on Nov. 22.

About 250 people attended the service, during which Tamir's great-uncle Michael Petty spoke of the family’s loss, NBC News reported.

"He was suddenly and needlessly taken from us. His young, fragile life was snuffed out like a candle in the wind," Petty said.

Police shot Tamir after responding to a 911 call about a child with a gun outside of Cudell Recreation Center. Officer Tim Loehmann fired at Tamir less than two seconds after the patrol car arrived at the scene, NBC said. Police said the boy was reaching into his waistband for a weapon, which turned out to be a pellet gun.

A grand jury will determine whether the police officer should be charged.

The funeral comes as controversy over use of police force and racial tensions have risen. Also on Wednesday, a grand jury in New York released its decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black man. Last month a grand jury in Missouri decided not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown.

Petty called for changes in the way police communicate with dispatchers, the way toy guns are manufactured, and in the use of excessive force by police, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

"Tamir will never die because he lives inside each one of us. He has impacted all of our lives in one way or another, or we would not be here today," Petty said. "The only way that Tamir will ever die, is if we as a family, as a city, as a community and as a nation forget what happened to a 12-year-old boy playing in the park on Saturday, November 22, 2014."

Twitter users expressed sorrow.





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A funeral service was held Wednesday for Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer on Nov. 22.
tamir rice, funeral
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2014-21-03
Wednesday, 03 Dec 2014 06:21 PM
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