It isn’t enough that former Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann was cleared by a grand jury after fatally shooting 12-year-old Tamir Rice, but to add insult, he attempted to get his job back after his 2017 firing from the department.
The Cleveland Police Patrolmen filed an appeal on behalf of Loehmann in April, while Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, has continued to fight against his reinstatement during that same time. In a statement released to Cleveland.com through her attorney, Rice said that she was “glad Loehmann will never have a badge and gun in Cleveland again.”
Rice, who also launched a campaign to urge President Joe Biden’s Justice Department to re-open the federal civil rights investigation into her son’s death, has not yet been responded to by the Department of Justice. During the Trump administration’s time in office, the 45th president and his DOJ let her inquiries languish for years and then closed them without bringing charges after he lost his re-election.
Attorney Subodh Chandra, making a statement of his own, said that the decision means that “Loehmann’s career—such as it was—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,” Chandra added. “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.”
Jeff Follmer, the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, said the union is disappointed that none of the courts that rejected the appeal took up the merits of their argument that Loehmann’s firing was too harsh a punishment. “We appreciate that three judges dissented but are disappointed that we were not granted a fair and impartial review,” Follmer said in a text message to Cleveland.com.
Follmer said he and the union’s attorneys are studying whether they have any other steps to try to get Loehmann’s job back.