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Cleveland Presents Diploma in Remembrance of Tamir Rice

  • Cleveland Metropolitan School District recently presented diplomas to 75 high school graduates during its summer commencement ceremony, but one member of their class was missing.

    Tamir Rice was 12-years-old when he was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer responding to reports of a man with a gun outside of a recreation center on Nov. 22, 2014. He was playing with a toy gun.

    Tamir was scheduled to graduate last spring and an honorary diploma was presented to his mother, Samaria Rice, during the graduation ceremony. “This means everything to our family. I can now say I have four CMSD graduates,” Samaria said before the commencement. “I'm very happy that you have not forgotten about Tamir and his precious life that was taken from us. Please continue to say his name as we continue to fight for justice for him.” 

    During the ceremony Eric Gordon, Cleveland Schools Chief Executive Officer, recalled Tamir’s love of sports, drumming and sculpting and other arts. But Gordon also emphasized the iconic status Tamir has assumed in the national response to police violence.

    “Tamir became an icon of police violence in America,” said Gordon. “His name is recognized time and again in the national debate over police reform and a growing reminder every day that his life and all Black lives matter.”