Nina Turner: Tamir Rice’s ‘Blood Is on the Hands of Everybody in this Country’

‘We need to come together and reform a criminal justice system that seize black and brown children’

RUSH TRANSCRIPT:

MOHYELDIN: “Joining me is Nina Turner, former Ohio state senator. Thank you very much for joining us. I want to start with your reaction to yesterday's grand jury announcement.”

TURNER: “Bone chilling, disappointed. Certainly heart goes to Miss Rice and the rest of the rice family. certainly out of the natural order of things for any mother or father for that matter to have to bury they son and for Tamir Rice to die in the way that he did, it just doesn't make sense and just bone chilling. I don't have words to describe the agony that not only i feel but many in the greater Cleveland community feel over what happened yesterday with the grand jury. Just this whole scenario, i mean, Ayman, we have been going through this over a year.”

MOHYELDIN: “Right.”

TURNER: “In the city of Cleveland and to build up to this, the community no way surprised by what the prosecutor had to say.”

MOHYELDIN: “Let me if i may read for you and our viewers a statement out of the family of Tamir Rice. This was released this afternoon and a part of it reads the following. quote, my family an ri in pain and devastated by the non- indictment of officers Lehman and Garmback for the murder of beloved Tamir. this investigation over a year and prosecutor McGinty's mishandling, we no longer trust the local criminal justice system and we view as corrupt. Prosecutor McGinty deliberately sabotaged the case and acting like the police officers' defense attorney. Those are some seriously strong words leveled against officials in that city.

TURNER: “Well, Ayman, what happened to Tamir Rice is a serious situation.”

MOHYELDIN: “Yes.”

TURNER: “;ess than two seconds from the time the police officers opened the door Tamir Rice is shot. a 12-year-old little boy who even the prosecutor, the assistant prosecutor trying to explain the rational for the grand jury described him, his weight and his height, as if the African-American young boys and Hispanic young boys do not have the chance to be a child if it's a strong rational for that particular police officer to open fire on a little boy who never had the opportunity to comply with any orders if any orders were given at all. i seriously doubt. There was no sound i should say. so for Ms. Rice to have that strong reaction, it is totally understandable because young Tamir Rice and we know lots of times African-American boys are seen as older tn what they really, really are but he was a 12-year-old little boy and if anybody want it is video, Ayman, see very clearly he did not have a chance to respond even if he would have complied with the police officers. he didn't have a chance less than two seconds when they opened the door. this is serious, Ayman, beyond Cleveland. this is about a state and a nation that has to answer the cries of its African-American and Hispanic citizens that there's injustices within a justice system that sees African-Americans and Hispanic folks more criminal than anybody else. so, yes, those are strong words and those words are deserved.”

 

MOHYELDIN: “Do you, Ms. turner, do you support her words about the way the prosecutor handled this case? Has he sabotaged it?

TURNER: “No doubt. he leaked, his office leaked out reports from experts that were already setting up the play. So she is exactly right. our prosecutor should have put a special prosecutor in place but he didn't do that. What he did, wasted time, and taxpayers' dollars with a charade of a grand jury and had the authority to come on out with it. be a man about it. Come on out with it and say clearly, i do not believe there's any legal justify start prosecution of these police officers. But yet and still he dragged this out, further causing pain and anxiety for the mother and the father and the family of young Tamir Tice and also our community. So absolutely she is absolutely right and what she has to say about this situation and, Ayman, you know, no mother should have to bury their child in this and some people so negative and heartless about this situation. he was a 12-year-old little boy who did not have to die on that day, on that playground, but he did. And his blood is on the hands of everybody in this country. We need to come together and reform a criminal justice system that sees black and brown children not as children. they don't get a chance to have a second chance at life. She will never be able to hug her little boy again. he will never be able to finish school or go to college. we'll know what young Tamir Rice would have been and so we cannot let his death be in vain. we have to -- we have to reform the system, Ayman. This is not citizen against police. This is about having an honest dialogue about what needs to happen, moving forward.”

MOHYELDIN: “All right. We have to leave it at that. Thank you very much for your insight.”

TURNER: “Thank you, Ayman.”

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