In a scathing Instagram post on Tuesday, Samaria Rice, the mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice—the Black boy who was notoriously shot and killed by police in Cleveland, Ohio after he was seen holding a toy gun—accused controversial activist Shaun King of being an “impostor” and raising money after her son's death without her permission.
Like others in the past who have raised questions about his racial identity, she also accused King of being a “white man acting Black.”
Rice did not respond to a request for comment. When reached for comment, King directed The Daily Beast to a post he published on his website The North Star on Tuesday in which he responded to claims made about his fundraising efforts on behalf of Rice and her family. King wrote that many people have “lied to Samaria about me and the fundraising I have done for her family.” He detailed how he was allegedly first asked to raise funds twice by Tamir Rice’s uncle, and later civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, but that after $120,000 was raised, a lot of money was taken by attorneys and the courts and the rest was doled out in small amounts, which is something he said he had no control of.
“I never received a penny from those funds or anyone else—and would never expect as much,” he wrote.
As The Daily Beast previously reported, a slew of former employees painted a picture of The North Star—as led by King—as a mess of a project despite prodigious fundraising.
In his post, King also said he spoke to Rice this past week after not hearing from her despite repeated attempts to speak with her for months. He said he’d been aware of her including him among activists and attorneys that she was upset with, most recently in a May New York Magazine profile. He 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.