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To Samaria- I hope that the support that you receive from your family, friends, and supporters bring you comfort. I know the pain you are enduring cannot be erased. I just hope that there is something that brings you peace..

When I learned that Samaria Rice moved out of her home because, she couldn’t bare living so closely to the place where her son Tamir Rice’s life was taken my heart shattered. Then I learned that she continued to pay for the storage of her son’s body for 6 months after his death in case it was needed for more evidence: I couldn’t help but think all of this must feel like torture to her very soul. Only parents that have lost children can grasp the level of agony she’s feeling. Those of us without children of our own can only level feelings of empathy. Samaria has displayed incredible strength throughout this process.

A press conference was held where Samaria informed the world that the Police department still hadn’t apologized for murdering her 12-year-old son, Tamir Rice. It started to become apparent that justice was not on the side of the Rice family. Since we have waited a year to find out if the officer was going to be indicted, I must say, I had some hope that the justice system wouldn’t fail us this time. We waited a year to be informed that it’s still okay to murder innocent Black children and people. People of color seem not to be people at all when it comes police killings.

It does not matter that a boy that had only lived 2 years passed a decade was shot down as if he were a mad dog. It does not matter how he excelled in school. It does not matter how many friends he had or how many people loved him. What matters is his life was cut short simply for being a Black kid playing in a park near his home with an air-soft toy gun.

Our children are not allowed to be children. They are not allowed to play in parks, sleep on their grandmother’s couch, walk down the street with a hoodie on while it’s raining, or play loud music. However, our children are allowed to be criminalized even when there is nothing left of them but a lifeless corpse. Our children are allowed to be blamed for their own untimely deaths regardless of the scenario and, they are also told that committing a crime is punishable by death.

What can we do to keep our children safe since they are essentially unsafe everywhere? The justice system was never meant to protect people of color; so it’s technically operating the way it was designed. It’s time to reconstruct the justice system