A brief filed to the Ohio Supreme Court by lawyers for the mother of police shooting victim Tamir Rice, seeks to bar the policeman who shot him from becoming an officer again.
The policeman, Timothy Loehmann, who was fired in 2017 when it was discovered he lied on his job application, is seeking to be reinstated with the backing of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, which says he was wrongfully terminated. A Cuyahoga County, Ohio judge ruled in December 2019 that the firing was justified. Loehman appealed that decision, but the appellate court upheld that ruling. Now the case has reached the state’s highest court.
But Sameria Rice, who has been adamant in keeping her son’s name alive in the narrative around police violence, wants to ensure that Loehmann does not get his old job back and her lawyers filed an amicus brief, offering expertise against his attempt to be reinstated.
“Timothy Loehmann can’t be trusted,” Rice said, according to local Cleveland station WOIO. “I hope that the Supreme Court does not give him a chance to get back his job. The fact that the Cleveland police union is still trying to get him his job despite him killing my child and lying on his application to become a police officer shows you just how immoral that organization’s leadership is.”
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The City of Cleveland is also supporting Loehmann’s firing saying that the termination was justified because Loehmann was not forthright about having resigned from the Independence, Ohio police department in 2012.
Loehmann fatally wounded Rice, 12, in 2014 when someone saw him at a Cleveland park playing with a toy gun. Loehmann and another officer, Frank Garmback responded to the scene. In a surveillance video, their patrol car appears to pull up and a shot is fired at Rice, striking him in the torso. The officers later claimed they ordered him to show his hands, but he instead seemed to draw what they thought was a weapon. Rice died the next day.
A grand jury later declined to charge the officers in the shooting. The City of Cleveland settled with Rice’s family for $6 million. In April Rice’s family asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to reopen the federal investigation into his death, after Trump Administration Attorney General Wiliam Barr closed the federal probe last December.
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