Last November, Tamir Rice was tossing snowballs and playing with a toy gun at a Cleveland park when a police officer arrived and, within two seconds of getting out of his squad car, shot and killed the black 12-year-old boy. As the investigation into the shooting heads into its fifth month, no charges have been filed against officer Timothy Loehmann, who reportedly thought Rice was carrying an actual firearm.
As the Rice family waits for some sort of resolution, the circumstances are increasingly straining them emotionally and financially, according to a court filing by the family, as reported by the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery:
"In particular, Samaria Rice, Tamir Rice's mother, has since been forced to move to a homeless shelter because she could no longer live next door to the killing field of her son," the motion said.
And, with the investigation still lingering, the Rice family said they have yet to bury Tamir because it is unclear if there will be need for any additional medical examination.
"Plaintiffs are incurring expense daily and are unsure if they can finally rest Tamir Rice due to the pending investigation," the motion filed by the family reads. "A stay would exacerbate this expense and emotional distress."
The filing, submitted by the Rice family, argues that a federal court shouldn't stay a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Cleveland and the officers involved in the Rice shooting. The city says the lawsuit should be put on hold while the county sheriff's office investigates Rice's death, but the family argues they should be allowed to press the lawsuit as the investigation continues.
It's been more than five months since Rice was shot on November 22. In comparison, it took less than three weeks after Freddie Gray's death in Baltimore before state's attorney Marilyn Mosby filed criminal charges against the six officers involved; about three months before a grand jury declined to press charges against Darren Wilson in Michael Brown's death; and nearly five months before a grand jury decided not to indict officers in Eric Garner's death in New York City — meaning the Rice investigation is taking much longer than the high-profile cases of the past year.