Samaria Rice, the mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, wrote a scathing Instagram post accusing Shaun King of being an “imposter” and raising money after her son’s death without her permission.
“Why do you think it is so important to tell folks we had a conversation,” Rice asked directly to King in her post. “Well, we talked and everything that was said was very toxic and uncomfortable for me to hear that you raised additional money and then say you did not want to bother me. Personally, I don’t know how you sleep at night.”
Like others in the past, King has become a controversial activist, who has had questions raised about his racial identity. For Samaria Rice, she acknowledged this by admonishing King, accusing him of being a “white man acting Black.” While Rice did not respond to any requests for comment, King spoke with The Daily Beast and pointed to a post he published on his website The North Star on Tuesday. In it, he responded to claims made about his fundraising efforts on behalf of Rice and her family, writing that many people have “lied to Samaria about me and the fundraising I have done for her family.”
Allegedly he was asked twice by Tamir Rice’s uncle to raise funds, and later civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, but after $120,000 was raised, the money was taken by attorneys and the courts, while the rest was doled out in incremental amounts. According to King, this is something he had no control of. “I never received a penny from those funds or anyone else—and would never expect as much,” he wrote.
King said he was aware of Samaria Rice including him among activists like Tamika Mallory and attorneys such as Benjamin Crump as those she was upset with, most recently in a May New York Magazine profile. “I never gave you permission to raise nothing,” Rice went on to write in her Instagram post. “Along with the United States, you robbed me for the death of my son.”
King had also posted an episode of his podcast under the title, “I spoke to Samaria Rice this past week,” but the episode appears to have been removed from his website. “It was a much-needed conversation,” King wrote on the page for the episode. “I learned a lot. Listened a lot. Shared my heart. And pledged we would continue to fight to get justice and accountability for Tamir.”
Samaria Rice and her family started the Tamir Rice Foundation in 2017, three years after the death of her son. Rice and King apparently fell out over the latter’s fundraising efforts in the name of Tamir. King wrote that he kept his distance while fundraising for the family to “give her space” but realizes he opened her and her family up to being taken advantage of by others. Rice, as she contends in her Instagram post, said that King gave her “a cop and donut conversation.”
“All lies Shaun,” she said. “Please stop thinking we’re on the same page. As a white man acting Black, you are an imposter that cannot be trusted.”
She went on to say her son’s human rights were violated and renewed her call for a new federal investigation into Tamir Rice’s death.
Watch Samaria set the record straight with Black Power Media below.