On Monday (July 5), the Ohio Supreme Court rejected the Cleveland police union’s appeal of a lower court ruling that former officer Timothy Loehmann’s firing from the city's police department remain in place.
Loehmann shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in November 2014 as he played with a toy gun in a Cleveland park.
According to Cleveland.com, four of the court’s seven justices declined jurisdiction to review the 8th District Court of Appeals’ March finding that the union failed to serve the city attorneys with court filings as it challenged an arbitrator’s decision upholding Loehmann’s firing.
The City of Cleveland subsequently fired the rookie officer for lying on his job application to become an officer. The justices did not issue a written opinion explaining the vote, which is the procedure when the court declines to take up an appeal.
The decision will be the final one regarding Loehmann’s prospects of ever working as an officer for the Cleveland Division of Police.
“I am glad that Loehmann will never have a badge and gun in Cleveland again,” Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, said through her attorney Subodh Chandra.
In Chandra’s own statement about the ruling, he said Loehmann’s career in Cleveland law enforcement “is and should now be over.”
“Given his lies on his application to be an officer, that career should have never happened in the first place,” he said, according to Cleveland.com. “The police union stained its own credibility by shamelessly advocating that it is no big deal for a sworn law-enforcement officer to lie on his job application -- and by its continuing efforts to torment the Rice family and the community.”
Loehmann was cleared of wrongdoing in Rice’s death but was fired in May 2017 for failing to disclose he’d been previously forced out by another police department. According to a memo sent by Deputy Chief Jim Polak of the Independence Police Department to the city of Independence, Ohio’s human resources manager, Loehmann was visibly “distracted and weepy” during a gun range training course at his previous job and could not follow simple directions or communicate clearly.