News & Politics

Tamir Rice's Mom Tells Shaun King: 'You Robbed Me for the Death of My Son'

(Vino Wong/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

On Tuesday, Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, condemned former Black Lives Matter leader Shaun King as a “white man” and an “imposter.” She accused him of trying to fundraise off of her son’s death and off of a call she had with him. She described the call as “very toxic and uncomfortable for me.”

“Why do you think its [sic] so important to tell folks we had a conversation? Well we talked and everything that was said was very toxic and uncomfortable for me to hear that you raised additional money and then say you did not want to to [sic] bother me,” Rice wrote in a post on Instagram. “Personally I don’t understand how you sleep at night. I never gave you permission to raise nothing. along with the United States, you robbed me for the death of my son.”

A white police officer shot and killed Rice’s 12-year-old son Tamir in Cleveland, Ohio, in November 2014. His death received national media coverage and boosted the Black Lives Matter movement.

King raised $60,000 for the family, but family attorney Timothy Kucharski said that neither he nor the Rice family had heard of King or the fundraiser and they had not received any money. A court seized the money King raised and put it into Tamir Rice’s estate. Rice launched a second charity drive, raising $25,000 for the family.

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As Newsweek reported, Rice appeared to be referencing the recent podcast episode King posted on Tuesday entitled “Ep. 469 – I spoke to Samaria Rice this week.” King appears to have deleted the episode, which is no longer posted among other episodes of “Breakdown with Shaun King.”

“It was a much-needed conversation. I learned a lot. Listened a lot. Shared my heart. And pledged we would continue to fight to get justice and accountability for Tamir,” King wrote in the episode’s description.

In a blog post, King said that Rice finally reached out to him recently after years of knowing about his work.

“Samaria first acknowledged that she was aware that I had reached out to her over the past few months through several different channels. And then she spoke for a good 20 minutes about her pain, her frustrations, her questions, and her struggles,” King recalled. “She acknowledged that she was aware that I had written articles about Tamir across the years and had raised money for her family, but it was in that part of the conversation that I truly came to understand a central mistake that I had made with her.”

“For the past 7 years, I have left Samaria Rice alone,” he added.

The post went on to detail the history of his fundraising efforts for Tamir. King claimed that others had lied to Samaria Rice about his efforts. He said he apologized to her for “assuming that the people around her were doing right by her.”

“Everything else — every harsh word said about me, every lie spread by people about my work for Samaria, I just have to let go of. For her. And for Tamir,” King concluded.

Yet Rice claimed that King gave her a “cop and donut conversation.”

“All lies Shaun, please stop thinking we are on the same page. As a white man acting black you are a imposter [sic] that can not to be trusted. My son was 12 years old and, and DOJ needs to reopen his case period. Tamir Human rights was violated, why would you so ever make it about you? you are a selfish self centered person and God will deal with you White man,” Rice concluded, bitterly.

Many have claimed that King is white, mockingly calling him “Talcum X.” King said that his mother told him that “the white man on my birth certificate is not my biological father and that my actual biological father is a light-skinned Black man.”

Rice has criticized many Black Lives Matter activists, calling them “ambulance chasers” and accusing them of exploiting for financial gain the highly publicized deaths of black men at the hands of police. She has asked Black Lives Matter groups to stop using her son’s name.

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King has made a name for himself by demonizing the “white supremacy” of statues and stained glass meant to portray Jesus Christ. When former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis responded with a full-throated defense of Christianity, King accused her of defending her “whiteness.” King also doxed police officers in Kenosha, Wisc., during the riots last year.


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