The gazebo that was the backdrop for the fatal police shooting of preteen Tamir Rice in 2014, is being disassembled today (Wednesday) and taken to a museum in Chicago.
According to a report from ABC News, Tamir’s mother Samaria Rice (along with the city of Cleveland) wanted to have the site demolished, but later reconsidered after seeing it become a makeshift memorial for the 12-year-old. Samaria “and those around her began to realize its historical significance and importance of preserving it,” said Rice family Attorney Billy Joe Mills.
Now, the gazebo will be moved to Stony Island Arts Bank, a museum in Chicago, where it will be displayed. According to another report from Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC, the gazebo was filled with stuffed animals and flowers placed there since Rice’s death.
Following the dismantling of the gazebo resident within the community will begin the formal planning process to determine how the recreational space will be used moving forward. The rebuilding process will begin in 2017, with confirmed changes including newly planted trees and a stone memorial plaque placed in memory of Tamir, according to a report from CNN.
The young boy was holding a toy gun when police shot and killed him two years ago, sparking national outcry, including protests and marches from the Black Lives Matter movement across the country. The police officer who shot and killed Tamir was not indicted when his case faced a grand jury in 2015. The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, which resulted in a $6 million settlement in April. An internal review of the events surrounding Tamir’s death is ongoing.
A misunderstanding was blamed for initial incorrect reports earlier this year that the Smithsonian Institution wanted the gazebo for its black history museum in Washington.
Nevertheless, it’ll be interesting to see how the Stony Island Arts Bank uses the gazebo and contributes to the symbol that it has come to be.