CLEVELAND — Former Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann is trying to get back on the job.
Loehmann shot and killed Tamir Rice back in 2014 and was fired two-and-a-half years later for lying on his job application.
Now, judges in Cuyahoga County are deciding whether to overturn that firing, as Loehmann tries to stay in the police community in a different way.
“I'm furious. I'm frustrated,” said Samaria Rice, Tamir Rice’s mother.
Samaria Rice expressed her frustration after attorneys representing the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association appeared in court Thursday, appealing Loehmann’s firing.
The shooting was ruled justified and Loehmann got to keep his job, before being fired two-and-a-half years later, but not for the shooting.
The city of Cleveland said Loehmann lied on his job application and didn’t tell them he’d resigned from the Independence Police Department.
Henry Hilow, the attorney for the police union, said Loehmann didn’t lie and the city was looking for ways to get rid of him after Rice’s death.
“The city of Independence acknowledged that he resigned. It was a six to zero vote to recommend that Timothy Loehmann be hired by the city of Cleveland,” Hilow said. “After four different separate reviews regarding the tragedy that occurred on Nov. 22, this was the reason that the city of Cleveland chose to discharge Officer Loehmann when they did their due diligence, according to the city of Cleveland, as to his hiring.”
Rice and her attorney, Subodh Chandra, said they found out about the hearing through news reports and condemned the police union for the appeal.
“I'm still fighting in the DOJ right now trying to get an indictment on him, you know what I'm saying? So I'm just, I’m angry. I'm mad,” Rice said.
“They have no respect or regard for the community when they insist that a police officer who lied on his application to become a cop and killed a child should become an officer again,” Chandra said.
But even though Loehmann has been off the force for years, he’s still being embraced by some of the local police community.
News 5 discovered Loehmann has been a member of the Cleveland Warriors, a football team made up of first responders, since 2017.
Former player Randy Knight said he and a few of his other teammates were kicked off the team after expressing concerns to team leaders.
“I don't think that he should get to play for the city of Cleveland for the pain and sorrow that he caused the city of Cleveland,” Knight said.
Rice said she recently found out about Loehmann’s involvement and says team leaders should be questioned on their decision-making.
“It’s disgusting and it's horrible,” Rice said. “And the community should be concerned about how he keeps trying to slither his way back in different communities and different counties.”
The police union’s appeal on behalf of Loehmann is currently being reviewed by the court.
It could be weeks or months before a decision is made.
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