Mother of Tamir Rice meets with Hillary Clinton: ‘We are looking for action’

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CHICAGO-- Hillary Clinton met Monday at a local Chicago cafe with a collection of parents whose African-American children have died in shootings. She discussed their loss and outlined her criminal justice reform and gun control plans.

The gathering included members of Trayvon Martin's family and Jordan Davis' family, as well as the mothers of Michael Brown and Tamir Rice.

The Tamir Rice case has drawn national attention since last November when Cleveland police shot the 12-year-old. Police got a call about a man with a gun outside the Cudell Rec Center.

Tamir Rice (Family photo)

Tamir Rice (Family photo)

Officers pulled up, and one shot the boy in less than two seconds. Police say Rice reached for the gun in his waistband, and the gun he had was an airsoft pellet gun that appeared to be a powerful handgun.

Tamir's mom, Samaria Rice, said after the meeting, "We discussed a lot of reform, ideas with change across the nation. And just about how this nation can improve itself. I felt that she was very sincere and I do feel that she listened. She made a lot of great points, now we are looking for action."

Trayvon Martin was the 17-year old who was killed in 2012 by former neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman. Zimmerman's acquittal sparked protests across the country. Davis was a 17-year-old African-American high school student killed in a 2014 shooting that started with a complaint about loud music. Brown was the 18-year-old African-American killed in 2014 by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Also in attendance was Maria Hamilton, the mother of Dontre Hamilton, a mentally ill man who died after being shot more than a dozen times in Milwaukee in 2014.

The meeting -- which comes during Clinton's push for criminal justice reform -- was held at Sweet Maple Cafe, a small breakfast and lunch establishment in Chicago's University Village.

Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's mother, said the meeting with Clinton was productive.

"It was a very powerful meeting, it was powerful," she said on camera before heading to the airport.

Rep. Bobby Rush, a longtime Chicago congressman, was seen leaving the cafe shortly after the meeting got underway.

Clinton is in the Windy City on Monday for three fundraisers.

A series of shootings involving African-American men have spurred a string of protests over the last three years, largely starting with the Martin's killing in 2012. Those protests have evolved into the Black Lives Matter movement, a coalition of organizations that look to hold politicians accountable for the killings of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement.

Clinton has been protested by the group twice during her presidential campaign, most recently at the kick off event for African-Americans for Hillary late last month in Atlanta.

The protesters began chanting "black lives matter" a few minutes into her speech. At first, the former secretary of state acknowledged them.

"Yes, they do and I'm gonna talk a lot about that in a minute," she said. She then tried ignoring the protesters, shouting her remarks over the chants.

During the speech, Clinton said -- as president -- she would ban racial profiling and make it easier for people who have served their jail sentences to get work.

"It's important to say out loud what I am saying because I believe all Americans, especially those of us with privilege and power have a responsibility to face these facts and we need to do a better job not assuming that our experiences are everyone else's," Clinton said. "And we need all of us to try walking into one another's shoes."

Clinton has also been outspoken on gun control, pledging earlier this year to close background check loopholes and allow victims to sue gun manufacturers, and racial disparities in policing.

"There is something profoundly wrong," Clinton said in April during her first speech as a candidate. "When African-American men are still far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes and sentenced to longer prison terms than are meted out to their white counterparts."

**Continuing coverage on Tamir Rice here**

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