The Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture, set to open later this year, is looking to have the gazebo where a 12-year-old was fatally shot by police in 2014 preserved.
William Pretzer, the museum’s senior History Curator, asked the city to delay demolition of the structure in an email Monday. Tamir Rice was shot by police officer Timothy Loehmann after he and partner Frank Garmback responded to a call about a man in the park with a gun on November 22, 2014. Loehmann hopped out of the police cruiser as it was still moving, shooting Tamir less than two seconds after he arrived on scene.
Tamir was carrying a pellet gun. A grand jury failed to deliver an indictment to either officer involved in his death.
It’s unknown if the gazebo will be relocated to Washington, D.C., where the highly anticipated museum is being built, but the museum “is in talks with Black Lives Matter concerning options for preserving the gazebo, given its importance to African-American history,” Cleveland.com reports:
Subodh Chandra, attorney for Tamir’s family, told Cleveland.com last week that the family supported the demolition plan, and in place of the gazebo, would like to erect a “tasteful, modest” memorial to Tamir.
“Ms. Rice was interested in seeing the gazebo demolished and gone,” Chandra said. “But when she heard about this proposal, she understood the historic importance of (the gazebo) and was supportive of the concept if the museum is interested in acquiring it and will handle the matter in a tasteful and appropriate way.”
Tamir’s family recently received a $6 million settlement from a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the city of Cleveland. Demolition of the gazebo was set to begin this week. The museum has asked the city to hold off for 60 days.
SOURCE: Cleveland | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty