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Ohio Supreme Court Won’t Hear Reinstatement Appeal of Former Cleveland Cop Who Gunned Down Tamir Rice: ‘Will Never Have a Badge Again’

The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association has lost its fight to reinstate the former police officer who shot and killed Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black boy, outside a Cleveland recreation center in 2014. In an announcement made on Tuesday, July 6, the Ohio Supreme Court said it would not consider the union’s latest appeal on behalf of the ex-cop, effectively ending the reinstatement campaign.

The Associated Press reports the latest appeal was filed in April 2021 on behalf of ex-police officer Timothy Loehmann, who was fired in 2017, not for killing Rice but for falsifying and omitting critical information about his personal history statement on his job application. There had been several attempts to reverse Loehmann’s firing, all of which had been unsuccessful.

Timothy Loehmann
Officer Timothy Loehmann (left) and his partner were cleared of any wrongdoing in Tamir Rice’s death. (Images courtesy of Twitter/Colorlines)

First, a panel of three judges upheld the termination, citing that the union did not correctly file court records with attorneys for the city of Cleveland in a timely matter. Then, earlier this year, a state appellate court dismissed Loehmann’s application, this time stating that the union failed to serve notice regarding the hiring of an outside attorney by the city. 

As previously reported, Loehmann, a rookie at the time of the incident, shot the young child within two seconds of pulling up with his partner next to the park gazebo where Rice was sitting alone. A Cuyahoga County grand jury later declined to indict Loehmann in the shooting. In 2018, he applied to become a part-time officer with Ohio’s Bellaire Police Department. Less than a week later he pulled his application.

Rice’s mother, Samaria Rice, had condemned the union’s efforts to get Loehmann rehired in a statement through her attorneys, Subodh Chandra, and Patrick Haney, calling the move “shameful.” On Tuesday she reacted to the Supreme Court’s decision.

“I am glad that Loehmann will never have a badge and gun in Cleveland again,” Rice said in a statement released by Chandra. Chandra added in his own statement, “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.”

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