Samaria Rice has made it very clear that she’s no fan of the Black Lives Matter organization, journalist Shaun King, attorney Benjamin Crump, and activist Tamika Mallory.
She has been critical of Black activists and celebrities using her son’s life as a talking point and also those within the movement who have raised significant amounts of money but have failed to work in tandem with families of the victims of racism and/or police brutality.
Rice suggests that rather than helping family members develop a public voice, many of the prominent organizers have become the only voices.
“They should not be standing on the front line like this was they child…You supposed to be uplifting the family, the community, teaching us how to love on each other, not bickering and fighting about who gon’ get the next case or who gon’ be on TV next. It’s a mess.”
Like many family members of those killed by police, Rice was unsure about how to handle the sudden attention, the spotlight shining on her while being in so much emotional pain, and heartbreak.
“A lot of us parents don’t know what to say or how we should be acting…There is a certain way you have to go in front of the media to let them know that you want justice for your baby.”
In those early weeks after Tamir’s death, various organizers offered Rice guidance. She describes her relationship with her first two attorneys (the original one was a local litigator; the second was famous attorney Ben Crump) and how nervous she was about saying the wrong thing. She was angry, but she was told that she wasn’t supposed to show her rage. She felt like her hands were tied, she felt under informed, and she didn’t want the organizers and lawyers to “handle everything.” She wanted to be involved in strategy, court filings, and decision-making.
She felt her intelligence was being insulted. At times, she lashed out; at other times, she fell back. She was frustrated that while a bunch of people surrounded her, she still didn’t know who to trust or how to protect Tamir’s story.
She asked people, including some artists and organizers, to stop using Tamir’s face without her permission. Samaria wanted to keep her authority over her own voice and her son’s legacy; but, was this even possible.? Although Tamir was her child, “when we saw his face all over the internet, social media, and across our televisions, he became everyone’s.”
Rice says she fired Ben Crump six to eight months after he began working on her son’s case, because it was questionable as to whether he knew the laws in-depth, in the state of Ohio.
She claims that while Black Lives Matter and their marketing platforms made massive amounts of money off of her story, she has received nothing and was living in poverty with her other children.
Tamika Mallory appeared in rapper Lil’ Baby’s Grammy performance about police brutality and recited a poem calling for justice, equity, and freedom.
The performance rubbed Samaria the wrong way…
She called Mallory a “clout chaser” in a Facebook post.
In another post, Rice said, “FUCK A GRAMMY WHEN MY SON IS DEAD.”
“I’m tired of you black lives matters (Tamika Mallory and crew) bitches that’s riding theses family back and yall ambulance chasing Attorneys (Ben Crump) (Lee Merrick) too yall have fuck up our fight and yall can kiss my ass too… Yall might ass well be junior pigs cops.”
Samaria has since been banned from Facebook.
Journalist Shaun King, (or Swirley Chisolm aka Snow J Simpson as I like to call him) felt the need to write a blog basically telling Samaria to stop it, and be nice to Mallory.
King, himself, has been seen by many as a scammer, and has been accused multiple times of fund-raising on behalf of the victims of police violence without permission or the disbursement of funds. Of course King has denied the claims..
“I ain’t never talked to Shaun King a day in my life…..Shaun King raised all that money [for Tamir] and sent me a $60,000 check... I ain’t know Shaun King from a hole in the wall.”
It made Rice feel some type of way to think that a stranger had used her son’s name without her consent. When asked about it, King said, “I have never, once in my life, raised funds for a single family without being asked to do so.”
Rice, along with another mother, Lisa Simpson, whose son Richard Risher was killed by the police in Los Angeles, issued a more formal statement…
Official Statement from Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice, and Lisa Simpson, mother of Richard Risher: “Tamika D. Mallory, Shaun King, Benjamin Crump, Lee Merritt, Patrisse Cullors, Melina Abdullah and the Black Lives Matter Global Network need to step down, stand back, and stop monopolizing and capitalizing off our fight for justice and human rights. We never hired them to be the representatives in the fight for justice for our dead loved ones murdered by the police.
The ‘activists’ have events in our cities and have not given us anything substantial for using our loved ones’ images and names on their flyers.”
“The attorneys in our fight are also misleading the impacted families. We don’t want or need y’all parading in the streets accumulating donations, platforms, movie deals, etc. off the death of our loved ones, while the families and communities are left clueless and broken. Don’t say our loved ones’ names period! That’s our truth!…”
The statement continues:
We demand accountability from everyone mentioned with the following demands:
1. Step down from the spotlight of our fights. Do not do anymore interviews, make anymore t-shirts, or hold anymore press conferences or events in the name of our loved ones. Do not use our loved ones to market any events.
2. Black Lives Matter Los Angeles should pay me, Lisa Simpson, as I am the mother of Richard Risher. They had a press conference for the 49 day encampment when my son, Richard Risher, first got killed. They raised $5,000 for my son’s funeral. I never received one penny.
3. Financial assistance for the Tamir Rice Foundation from all who have exploited Tamir Rice: Tamika Mallory, Shaun King, Benjamin Crump, and Black Lives Matter Global Network. I, Samaria Rice, purchased the building in 2018 and it needs remodeling, operational funds, etc.
4. Housing funds for Lisa Simpson, as I am battling homelessness with my current children. My son, Richard Risher, was killed by LAPD and I was offered no assistance from BLM. I am currently living in a motel with my children and need funds for housing.
5. Support the Tamir Rice Foundation and make all requested donations there.
6. Send personal donations to the cashapps of $SamariaRice and $LisaLee693
If all of this isn’t enough, a police union is now seeking to reinstate Timothy Loehmann, the ex cop who fatally shot Tamir, claiming he thought his toy gun was real. He was never charged but was eventually fired after it was revealed he lied on his job application.
Samaria has asked The Ohio Supreme Court to block his reinstatement.