Dismantling of gazebo where Tamir Rice was shot set to begin

Posted at 5:59 PM, Sep 13, 2016

CLEVELAND (AP) — A gazebo where a 12-year-old black boy with a pellet gun was fatally shot by a white Cleveland police officer is expected to be dismantled beginning this week and shipped to a Chicago museum for display.

The gazebo became a makeshift memorial to Tamir Rice, whose 2014 death sparked Black Lives Matter protests. An attorney says Tamir's mother wanted the gazebo to become a symbol for what happened to him.

Ex-city councilman Jay Westbrook said Monday he's been coordinating the deconstruction with officials at Chicago's Stony Island Arts Bank. He says a museum official will supervise the deconstruction, scheduled to begin Wednesday.

Tamir was killed by a patrol officer within two seconds of a cruiser skidding to a stop near him outside a recreation center where the gazebo is located.

Two local companies will be handling removal of the structure, which was piled with stuffed animals and flowers after Tamir's death.

Tamir's death was among those that fueled the national Black Lives Matter movement, along with those of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City.

Family attorney Subodh Chandra has said Tamir's mother originally wanted the gazebo demolished, but she changed her mind as she came to understand its historic importance.

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.