“Tamir has been cremated,” said Walter Madison, the Ohio-based attorney working with Rice’s family, who said that the decision was made late last week. “His mother made the grief-stricken decision to have her son cremated.”
The Rice family had been paying to preserve his body, arguing that they did not want Tamir put to final rest until the legal probe of the shooting was complete in case there was a need to conduct an additional medical examination.
“What everyone needs to understand is that Samaria Rice is a mother first,” he said. “Whether in life or death, her instinct is to take care of her child. Him not being put to final rest was just physically, emotionally, psychologically unsettling to her.”
Tamir was shot Nov. 22 after a resident exiting a community center near the park where the boy was playing phoned police to report a young man with what appeared to be a gun.
Several people close to the police department have said that the officers, unaware that the caller indicated that Tamir was likely playing with a toy, expected the boy to run. When he did not flee, but rather took a step toward the officers after they pulled their cruiser up next to him, one of the two officers shot him in the chest.
The investigation into the shooting of Rice remains ongoing, even as the city continues to brace for potential protests or unrest if the officers are not charged with a crime in the shooting.
On Tuesday, the Cuyahoga County sheriff’s department, which is investigating the shooting, said that the bulk of the investigation has been completed. Officials close to the investigation say they expect it to be concluded in the coming weeks.
The sheriff’s department will deliver its report to the county prosecutor’s office, which will then decide whether or not the officers involved in the shooting should be charged or opt to bring the case to a grand jury.
Attorneys and Rice family members themselves have expressed frustration with what they view as an investigation that has taken too long.
“My family is very disappointed with how this investigation has transpired,” Latonya Goldsby, a cousin of Rice’s, told reporters following the sheriff’s news conference. “I feel so disgusted with the city of Cleveland for not showing some type of compassion to my family. We had to bury a 12-year-old kid.”