Tamir Rice's Mom Was Torn Between Shot Son and Detained Daughter

Samaria Rice was later told daughter had been tackled, handcuffed at the scene.

ByABC News
December 8, 2014, 12:41 PM

— -- The mother of a 12-year-old boy shot dead last month by Cleveland police after he was seen holding a toy gun said today the most agonizing moment was when she had to decide whether to go with her injured son to the hospital or stay at the recreation center playground to figure out why her daughter was in the back seat of a police car.

"I asked the police to let my daughter go and they wouldn't at that time and I asked them, 'What's going on?' But they wasn't telling me anything, just saying, 'Calm down, calm down," Samaria Rice said a news conference today, adding that her daughter told her later that police had tackled her before handcuffing her and placing in the back of the their vehicle near Tamir Rice’s body.

"I knew she was crying for me but I couldn’t see her hands," Rice said of her 14-year-old daughter, who was inside the rec center at the time of the shooting.

The question for her: “Whether I stay with the 14 year old or do I go with the 12 year old? Of course, I go with the 12-year-old,” she said.

The Cleveland Police Department has not responded to ABC News’ requests from comment.

Rice also said a child from the playground where her son was shot ran to her home to tell her a police officer had fired at her son Tamir.

"I really thought they was playing, like joking around, and I saw the seriousness in their face," she said of how she realized the boys who broke the news were not kidding.

PHOTO: Tamir Rice's mother Samaria Rice spoke out about the sequence of events following her son's fatal Nov. 22 shooting.
Tamir Rice's mother Samaria Rice spoke out about the sequence of events following her son's fatal Nov. 22 shooting.

She said she ran to the scene of the shooting at a recreation center less than 100 yards from her home.

"I went charging and yelling and everything at the police because they wouldn't let me through," she said.

"They made me sit in the front of the ambulance truck like I was a passenger," she said.

Tamir's father, Leonard Warner, was at her side during the news conference this morning but chose not to make a statement.

One of the family's biggest complaints has been that police officers stood nearby and did not administer aide to Tamir for several minutes after the shooting.

The news conference came after Rice first spoke with ABC News earlier this morning and reiterated her wish to see both officers convicted, though only one of them firing the fatal shots.

Attorney Benjamin Crump, who has previously worked with the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, said that there should be no need for a grand jury in this case.

The process of having evidence evaluated by a secret grand jury has come under fire recently after two situations involving police altercations-- one in Ferguson, Missouri and another in Staten Island, New York-- both resulted in no indictments for any of the police officers involved.

"There is nothing written anywhere in the law that police officers are going to be treated any different than any other," Crump said today.

"When there is probable cause, you don't have to have a grand jury. You can do what the Constitution says and charge the people," he said.