In a late albeit unsurprising display of indecency, the Cleveland police union has filed an appeal in court to overturn the firing of Timothy Loehmann, the officer who murdered 12-year-old Tamir Rice in November 2014.
Loehmann was fired by the city over the contents of his job application and not for the murder of Rice, whose last living moments were captured on surveillance cameras nearby.
Police are now appealing Loehmann’s firing in Cuyahoga County Court.
On November 23, 2014, 26-year-old officer Loehmann and 46-year-old officer Frank Gamback responded to a call concerning a black male that kept “pulling a gun out of his pants and pointing it at people” near the Cudell Recreation Center. The caller told dispatch that the gun was “probably fake” in the beginning and middle of the call, adding that the black man was “probably a juvenile,” which dispatch failed to relay to Loehmann and Gamback, according to authorities. Loehmann and Gamback reported that Rice attempted to draw his weapon after they repeatedly told him to show them his hands.
Rice was shot once in the chest over his airsoft replica gun. He died the next day.
Surveillance footage which conflicted with Loehmann’s report was released three days later. In the aftermath of the murder, it was reported that Loehmann, in his previous role as a police officer in nearby Independence, Oh., had been deemed emotionally unstable and unfit for duty, a fact he failed to disclose on his application to join the force in Cleveland. Cleveland police, who failed to review his personnel file from Independence, kept him on the force until May of 2017.
Gamback, an officer with the Cleveland police since 2008, was accused of tackling, choking, and hitting a woman who called the police to report a car blocking her driveway. The city settled with the woman for $100,000.
On December 28, 2015, a grand jury decided against indicting Loehmann or Gamback.
Subodh Chandra, attorney for the Rice family, provided a statement to a local Fox affiliate.
“It is most unfortunate that the CPPA continues to insist it’s okay for a law-enforcement officer to lie on his employment application —that is, continues to embrace lawlessness in law enforcement,” the statement said. “Until CPPA comprehends its officers are not above the law, none of us are safe. And Tamir? With a police union as lawless as that, the child never stood a chance.”
Cleveland City Hall has declined comment.