Tamir Rice's And Richard Risher's Moms Accuse BLM Leaders Of Capitalizing Off Their Sons' Likeness: 'Don't Say Our Loved Ones' Names'
Samaria Rice continued her criticism of people she believes are profiting off of the killings of Black people by the police.
March 17, 2021 at 10:30 pm
Samaria Rice and Lisa Simpson have unveiled a list of demands to a number of activists, lawyers and a Black Lives Matter group after a week of concerns about how people were invoking the names of those killed by the police.
Samaria, the mother of Tamir Rice, and Simpson, the mother of Richard Risher, issued an open letter naming and criticizing Tamika Mallory, Shaun King, Benjamin Crump, Lee Merritt, Patrisse Cullors, Melina Abdullah and the Black Lives Matter Global Network for "using our loved ones' images and names on their flyers" and "misleading the impacted families."
They told the activists and lawyers to "step down, stand back, and stop monopolizing and capitalizing off our fight for justice and human rights."
"We never hired them to be the representatives in the fight for justice for our dead loved ones murdered by the police. The ‘activists’ have events in our cities and have not given us anything substantial for using our loved ones' images and names on their flyers," the two mothers wrote.
"The attorneys in our fight are also misleading the impacted families. In the case of Tamir Rice, it was even questionable as to whether Benjamin Crump knew the laws in-depth, in the state of Ohio; I fired him 6-8 months into Tamir’s case," the letter added.
Tamir, who was only 12 when he was killed by Cleveland police in 2014, was shot less than two seconds after officers arrived on the scene, according to CNN. Officers say Tamir was brandishing what they mistook as a handgun but turned out to be a toy airsoft pistol.
The joint letter goes on to accuse certain activists and the Black Lives Matter Global Network for effectively profiting off of the deaths of Black people without sharing the resources gained.
"We don't want or need y'all parading in the streets accumulating donations, platforms, movie deals, etc. off the death of our loved ones, while the families and communities are left clueless and broken. Don’t say our loved ones’ names period! That’s our truth!" the letter read.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM SAMARIA RICE, MOTHER OF TAMIR RICE AND LISA SIMPSON, MOTHER OF RICHARD RISHER.— Free Mumia Abu-Jamal (@_Rawilcox) March 17, 2021
Myself, @DaShaunLH, and @likefannielou had a conference call with Samaria and Lisa, and below is their full statement regarding Tamika Mallory, Shaun King, Benjamin Crump etc: pic.twitter.com/GC49bD1LL6
The letter comes with six demands, which cover a variety of issues.
The two mothers want the activists to stop taking "the spotlight of our fights" and asks them not to do interviews, make t-shirts, hold press conferences or create events using the names of the loved ones they lost.
"Do not use our loved ones to market any events. Stop clout chasing and ambulance chasing these families," the letter added.
The rest of the list includes personal demands from Samaria and Simpson. Simpson wants Black Lives Matter Los Angeles to pay her in reference to a press conference after her son was killed. She said the group raised $5,000 for her son's funeral but never gave her the money and eventually removed her from a protest over a dispute on how it was being run. "
Risher was killed in the summer of 2016 after Los Angeles police attempted to disperse a crowd in a local Watts neighborhood, ABC7 reported. Officers said he had a gun in his hand while running and fired his weapon at an officer before being shot dead.
Simpson is also demanding funds from the Black Lives Matter Global Network as she is currently battling homelessness with her children and living in a motel. She said she was never offered assistance by the Black Lives Matter Global Network.
Samaria bashed Mallory, King, Crump and the Black Lives Matter Global Network for repeatedly using her son's name and writes that she needs financial assistance for the Tamir Rice Foundation "from all who have exploited Tamir Rice."
Samaria said she "purchased the building in 2018 and it needs remodeling, operational funds, bullet proof windows for the lower level, Hcvac cooling and heating system, commercial flooring, restrooms, furniture, piano repairs, new internal doors, etc." She also asks for more donations to help support the foundation.
Both women also ask for personal donations to be sent to $SamariaRice and $LisaLee693 on CashApp.
The letter comes after Samaria took to Facebook this weekend to criticize Mallory's participation in a performance with rapper Lil Baby at the 2021 Grammy Awards.
The rapper performed a song using a protest as background. After watching the event, Samaria wrote on Facebook that Mallory, Crump and others were "chasing clout" and had a long history of using the killings of Black people in order to get on television or promote events.
"Look at this clout chaser. Did she lose something in this fight? I don't think so. That's the problem. They take us for a joke. Thats why we never have justice, cause of s**t like this. F**k a Grammy when my son is dead. F**k all pigs cops. Too many dead souls and they think its a joke," she wrote in a series of Facebook posts.
"I'm tired of you black lives matters (Tamika Mallory and crew) b***hes that's riding theses [sic] family back and yall ambulance chasing Attorneys ( Ben Crump) (Lee Merrick) too yall have f**k up our fight and yall can kiss my a*s too....Make it make sense....You can't working with devil is easy too do [sic]," Rice wrote on Sunday.
Other parents have spoken out about what they feel are exploitative tactics by activists, protest organizations and some lawyers.
As Blavity previously reported, Michael Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., also came out this year demanding money from a Black Lives Matter group for the use of his son's name in fundraising efforts.