Family of Tamir Rice sets up fund to create youth center

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CLEVELAND (CNN/AP) — It’s been nearly five years since a Cleveland police officer shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

He was shot and killed by Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann while playing with a toy gun in a park. The event sparked protests around the country and the world.

Wednesday night, hundreds of people packed the Cleveland Museum of Art to celebrate his life and his mother talked about how his legacy will live on.

“We have the power to transform a grave injustice into something that will stand for a world where all of our lives will finally matter,” said Opal Tometi, of Black Lives Matter.

Trailblazers from across the country and in northeast Ohio joined together to mourn the death of Tamir.

“I was thrust into this life, and it was not the life that I chose, this is God’s plan,” said Samaria Rice, Tamir’s mom.

Rice said she is still broken years after her sons death.

“It has not been easy in a society where humanity is our last consideration,” Rice said.

Nowadays, she puts much of her energy into police reform.

“I’m here to make it uncomfortable because we need some change,” she said.

Now now, she is adding something else to the list: The Tamir Rice Afrocentric Center, a youth cultural center.

Money from the Tamir Rice Legacy Fund at the Cleveland Foundation will be used for other charities and to create the cultural center, which will offer artistic, educational and civic youth programs that celebrate the history and culture of people of African descent.

An investigation into the Nov. 22, 2014, shooting revealed that Tamir had a pellet gun on him at the time.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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