The mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer in 2014 while holding a toy gun in a local playground, is working to build a youth center that honors the memory of her son, according to Cleveland.com.
Samaria Rice envisions what will be called The Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center as a place where children will be immersed in art and music, while also getting the opportunity to be taught on how to navigate and participate in politics.
"I'm going to do it through the grace of God, and I'm going to do it because the city of Cleveland gave me no choice but to do it as far as building my son's legacy and keeping his legacy alive," she told the news outlet.
The Tamir Rice Foundation bought the building that the center will occupy in March for $162,680, according to Cleveland.com. Samaria Rice said she is holding a "Sweet 16" party for Tamir next month to raise funds to renovate the 3,500-square-foot structure. The hope is that the center can open in 2019.
"I want to see some positivity," Samaria Rice told the news outlet. "I don't really see a whole lot of positivity coming out of the inner city when it comes to the youth that is suffering. ... I want the center to give them a sense of hope."
Officers did not face charges in Rice's death after prosecutors found that they "reasonably believed" his toy gun was a real gun and that they faced danger.