UPDATED: 4:12 p.m. ET, July 8, 2021 —
On Tuesday the Ohio Supreme Court withdrew any chances for Timothy Loehmann‘s reentry into the Cleveland Police Department after fatally shooting Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black child in November 2014.
The high court’s ruling to reject Loehmann’s appeal advocating for his reinstatement to the force upheld the city of Cleveland’s termination decision from 2017 after it was discovered that he lied on his police application, with no consideration for Rice’s untimely death.
Backed by the Cleveland police union, Loehmann submitted the appeal request in April in hopes that the justices would strike down the decision upheld by an appeals court in March.
The white Cleveland cop who fatally shot Tamir Rice at the age of 12 while he held a toy gun in 2014 recently filed an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court in an attempt to return to the police force, NBC News reports.
Timothy Loehmann filed the appeal last week via his lawyers in regards to his firing in 2017, three years after Tamir’s tragic death. At the time, it was not lost on many observers that Loehmann was terminated because he provided false information on his application form and not due to fatally shooting a young Black child. Previous to his recent filing, Loehmann’s dismissal was upheld by a county judge and arbitrator.
Loehmann dodged an indictment and jail time in the wake of Tamir’s shooting after he fatally struck the young boy within seconds of his arrival as Tamir held a fake gun outside of a Cleveland community center. His reinstatement effort is backed by police union members who are also working on his behalf.
His move follows similar actions made by cops who killed Black community members who want to change the tide of public opinion and reject the consequences which aligned with their actions.
Last week, Garret Rolfe, the officer accused of fatally shooting Rayshard Brooks advocated for his reinstatement during a hearing with Atlanta’s civil service board, The Washington Post reports. During the hearing, Rolfe argued that he was not afforded due process prior to his firing which occurred one day after the deadly shooting in June 2020.
Besides Rolfe, there are other flippant, visible actions being taken by cops who fatally struck Black community members, like Jonathan Mattingly, who attempted to capitalize on his involvement in Breonna Taylor’s death. Two convicted cops over the last two weeks have attempted to overturn their convictions, former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager who shot and killed Walter Scott in 2015, and Amber Guyger, the ex-Dallas cop who was convicted of murdering Botham Jean in 2018.
“Tamir would have been 19 years old in June,” Samaria Rice, Tamir’s mother, said in a statement. “I’m still in so much pain because no one has been held accountable for the criminal act that took his life. I’m asking DOJ to reopen the investigation into my son’s case; we need an indictment and conviction for Tamir’s death. I’m building his legacy. The Tamir Rice Foundation is very invested in the community and dedicated to creating change.”
In response, a spokesperson for the DOJ told CNN that the department is reviewing the request.