Court upholds firing of cop who killed Tamir Rice

Courtesy Rice family attorney

The firing of Timothy Loehmann, the former Cleveland cop who killed Tamir Rice, was justified, a Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas decided.

The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association has been fighting on behalf of Loehmann to get his job back after he was dismissed from the department for failing to reveal facts about his job history, and lying on his employment application, Cleveland 19 reports.

Loehmann dodged any possibility of being held criminally liable for Rice’s death after shooting the 12-year-old youth in November 2014. But he was terminated from his job as a Cleveland police officer in May 2017 for other matters unrelated to Rice’s death. However, he claims it was a wrongful termination.

READ MORE: Police union files appeal to get ex-cop who killed Tamir Rice his job back

Loehmann, however, was forced out by a suburban Cleveland police department, yet never revealed that fact on his job application. After the Rice shooting, Cleveland police learned Loehmann was not forthcoming about being forced to resign from a previous job with the police department in Independence, Ohio. Ultimately the rookie cop was declared unfit to work in law enforcement.

According to a 2012 police memo, Loehmann also had an “emotional breakdown” during a firearms exam.

The Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas ruled that the city of Cleveland was within its rights to fire Loehmann.

On Friday, Jeff Follmer, CPPA President expressed disappointment in the decision.

“We think it’s clear cut he didn’t lie on his application and this is another political decision,” Follmer said.

Union attorney Henry Hilow said they are still deciding whether to appeal the decision.

The city of Cleveland said in a statement on Friday that it was satisfied.

“The city has consistently maintained throughout the process that Loehmann’s termination was justified,” the statement said.

READ MORE: Cop who killed Tamir Rice finds new job, but boy’s mom not staying silent about it

Subodh Chandra, attorney for the Rice family, said in a statement:

“Having ended a child’s life, Loehmann should live his life as something other than a police officer. Having lied on his application to get the job that enabled him to end a child’s life, Loehmann should apply to be something other than a police officer. And Cleveland’s police union—which is apparently so uncommitted to truth and the rule of law that it thinks that it’s okay for an officer to lie—needs to end its relentless assault on the community’s intelligence and integrity. Clevelanders do not want Loehmann to ever again be entrusted with a badge and gun anywhere, but least of all here. The union leadership should stop embarrassing itself with the appeals and let the Rice family—and the community—heal.”

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