The ex-police officer who shot and killed Tamir Rice in 2014 after a 911 call about the 12-year-old playing with a toy gun in a Cleveland park is still being sought by a Cleveland police union.
On behalf of Timothy Loehmann, the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association (CPPA), the group representing Cleveland police officers, filed an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court on Friday, April 23. This comes after the union was denied a reversal of Loehmann’s dismissal by an appeals court last month. The former officer’s firing was upheld by a jury of three judges, who found that the union failed to file court papers with the city of Cleveland’s lawyers on time.
Loehmann was fired from the Cleveland police department in May 2017, not because he killed Rice (who was shot within two seconds of Loehmann and his partner pulling up next to the park gazebo where the boy was sitting alone), but because an internal review panel found that Loehmann had lied or omitted critical information on his personal history statement in his application.
On his application, the officer stated that he quit the Independence Police Department in Cleveland suburbs for “personal reasons.” The Independence department found Loehmann incompetent, citing his “inability to emotionally function,” according to the investigation. Instead of being shot, he was given the option to resign.
Loehmann withdrew his application to join the Bellaire Police Department in Ohio as a part-time officer in 2018. Rice’s mother, Samaria Rice, responded to the news at the time by saying, “Hopefully, he will not be hired as a police officer by any other state.”
Bellaire Police Chief Richard Flanagan reported that Loehmann had withdrawn from the role, less than a week after the chief said the disgraced cop deserved “a second chance.”
“He was cleared of any and all wrongdoing,” Flanagan said of Loehmann’s part in the fatal 2014 shooting to The Times Chief. “He was never charged with anything. It’s done and dusted.”
Loehmann’s newest attempt to be reinstated comes only a week after Samaria Rice’s lawyers wrote Attorney General Merrick Garland a letter asking that the Department of Justice reopen its investigation into her son’s death.
“It is vital for DOJ to establish that those who enforce our laws are subject to our laws,” Rice’s attorney’s stated. “This case involves the unjustified killing of a child and a prosecution that was thwarted through political abuse. Fortunately, it is not too late to correct this manifest injustice.”
In 2016, the city of Cleveland agreed to pay Rice’s family $6 million without admission of wrongdoing.