US

Cleveland cop who fatally shot Tamir Rice files an appeal with state Supreme Court to get job back 

Pictured: Former Cleveland cop Timothy Loehmann

The police officer who killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 is now appealing to the Ohio Supreme Court to get his job back.

Timothy Loehmann was the man behind the trigger in November 2014 when he shot Rice outside the Cudell Recreation Center in Cleveland.

Rice was reaching for a toy gun when he was shot by Loehmann, who thought the 12-year-old was reaching for a weapon.

The City of Cleveland fired Loehmann from the job in 2017, though the cop never faced charges in the case.

Now, Loehmann is taking his argument all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court as he tries to get his job back.

His attorneys appealed the case to the Ohio Supreme Court on Friday after the Eighth District Court of Appeals wouldn’t hear the case.

Scroll down for video 

Timothy Loehmann is appealing his firing all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court

Timothy Loehmann is appealing his firing all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court

‘They’re trying to say that we didn’t file this in a timely manner, and we’re saying, ‘Yes we did’ and we want the appeal and its merits to be heard,’ Jeff Follmer, president of Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, told FOX 8.

Loehmann was not fired because of the shooting, but was fired because he lied on his job application by failing to disclose that he was previously forced to resign from the Independence Police Department for poor performance on the shooting range.

Cleveland’s Police Patrolmen’s Association is disputing the claim that Loehmann lied on his application.

‘The only thing they found that he did wrong was lied on his application, which we’re disputing that he did not lie on his application… Everything else was justified,’ Follmer added. 

Loehmann was the officer who shot Tamir Rice as the 12-year-old was using a toy gun

Loehmann was the officer who shot Tamir Rice as the 12-year-old was using a toy gun

Tamir Rice was shot in the stomach by Loehmann and died of his injuries the next morning

Tamir Rice was shot in the stomach by Loehmann and died of his injuries the next morning

When Loehmann was fired, those connected with the Rice family expressed disappointment that he wasn’t actually charged in Rice’s death.

‘As satisfying as it is that he was terminated, he was never brought up on charges for killing Tamir Rice,’ Earl Ward, lawyer for the Rice family, told the New York Daily News at the time. 

The reaction from the Rice family with the latest development has been negative as well.

‘The police union should be ashamed of itself for still trying to put a dangerous police officer back on the street,’ Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, said to FOX 8.

‘Every time they try to do this, they hurt my family and put the public at risk.’

Meanwhile, Cleveland’ Police Patrolmen’s Association claims Loehmann’s continued dismissal is political.

‘It’s his constitutional right to go forward on this and it’s a political thing. He’s not getting his job back because of all the politics,’ Follmer added.  

Loehmann’s dismissal has been upheld on two different occasions so far. The court of appeals cited a paperwork snafu as a reason for not hearing his appeal.

If the Ohio Supreme Court rules in favor of the police union, the case would then be sent back to the Eighth District Court of Appeals for a new ruling. 

Two cops had been called on November 22, 2014, after someone reported there was a man nearby pointing a gun at people.

Pictured: Tamir Rice. Loehmann was not charged in Rice’s death following the shooting

Loehmann also wasn't fired for shooting Rice (pictured), but was instead fired for allegedly lying on his job application about how his time ended at a previous police department

Loehmann also wasn’t fired for shooting Rice (pictured), but was instead fired for allegedly lying on his job application about how his time ended at a previous police department

The 911 caller told the operator that the gun may have been fake and that Tamir – who was about 5’7 tall – was possibly a minor but those two pieces of information were never relayed to the officers.

Loehmann, six months into the job, jumped out of his partner’s squad car after it stopped skidding on the grass and shot Rice in the stomach within seconds – he died of his injuries the next morning.

Both cops were cleared of criminal charges by a grand jury in 2015 despite widespread calls for them to face harsh punishment for the boy’s death. 

According to Cleveland.com, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty lost his re-election bid because the community felt the probe was not handled well. 

The city wound up settling a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Samaria Rice for $6 million.

Towards the end of 2020, the Justice Department announced they would not bring federal criminal charges against the two cops involved in the shooting.

They cited the poor quality of video evidence as a reason they couldn’t come to a conclusive decision about charges.

The Justice Department needed to prove that an officer’s actions willfully broke the law in order to bring federal charges.

In recent weeks, however, there has been a renewed push for the the DOJ to reopen its investigation.

‘The election of President Biden, your appointment, and your commitment to the rule of law, racial justice, and police reform give Tamir’s family hope that the chance for accountability is not lost forever,’ lawyers for Samaria Rice wrote in a letter to Merrick Garland two weeks ago.

‘We write on their behalf to request that you reopen this investigation and convene a grand jury to consider charges against the police officers who killed Tamir.’ 

The DOJ extended their condolences while stating they would review the letter.

Miss Neal holds Tamir Rices picture during a night protest outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 9, 2021

Miss Neal holds Tamir Rices picture during a night protest outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 9, 2021

‘I’m asking D.O.J. to reopen the investigation into my son’s case; we need an indictment and conviction for Tamir’s death,’ Samaria Rice added, according to the New York Times.

It’s not clear what the timeline is for the Justice Department to make a decision on reopening the investigation.

The shooting of Tamir Rice was one of the galvanizing events for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The latest developments come in the aftermath of the conviction of former Minnesota cop Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd last May. 


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button