Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Before You Tweet It, Samaria Rice Is No Longer Living in a Homeless Shelter

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2015 at 10:58 AM

click to enlarge samariarice.jpg
Though the Washington Post and other national media outlets reported yesterday, with due outrage, that Samaria Rice has been living in a homeless shelter as the investigation into the death of her son drags on, that's not currently the case.

Rice's attorney Walter Madison told Scene Monday evening that Tamir's mother has now found a small place of her own, thanks in large measure to the support of family.  Madison called the move a "very recent development," and told NewsNet5 that she transitioned out of the shelter about three weeks ago.

Madison told Scene that she had been living there since "sometime in January."  

"Samaria had to leave her residence," Madison said. "Out on the porch, that was an eyes-shut view of her son's killing fields. Emotionally, she just could not take it, and she had nowhere else to go. It was more comfortable for her in a shelter than it would have been in her own home." 

Still, a court filing from Madison's office, dated Monday, seemed to indicate that Ms. Rice's homelessness was ongoing.    

"This incident has also shattered the Rice family," the filing says. "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 the killing field of her son." 

Along with the fact that Tamir Rice's body hasn't been laid to rest because the family isn't sure if there will be additional medical testing, this is both horrific and infuriating to think about. Madison asked, at a press conference Monday, that people start turning their sympathy into (presumably financial) support. The request has worked. 

On social media, Madison has begun the #ComputerLove hashtag, to help promote the Tamir Rice memorial GoFundMe page, which has now raised close to $30,000. Activists nationwide have helped promote the cause.  

The support for Samaria and the Rice family is good, and it's certainly more than they're getting from the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. Madison reiterated to Scene that though officials have offered condolences, no one has spoken about "the quality and status" of the investigation to Rice and her attorneys.

What's also true, though, is that a significant portion of the fundraising groundswell Monday came after reports of Samaria's homelessness.  
It was a great injustice, Tweeters spewed, that while a city dragged its feet, the mother of a child killed by police is living in a homeless shelter. And though the information is no longer accurate  — and we should all be mindful of the clarity in our headlines and our Tweets (and our court filings, as the case may be) — the injustice is no less savage for being dated. 

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