CLEVELAND — Colin Poche, a pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays, took to Twitter to advocate for investigators to reopen the case of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy shot and killed by Cleveland police while he was playing with a toy gun outside the Cudell Recreation Center.
Poche shared a petition that has already been signed by nearly a million people, asking the Department of Justice to reopen the case and launch a federal investigation into Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty’s handling of the grand jury process.
(1/3) Tamir Rice was murdered by the police for playing with an airsoft gun. When I was around Tamir’s age, I had the police called on me for playing with an airsoft gun in the street outside my house. When the cop car showed up, an officer calmly got out and walked up to me https://t.co/RXd36WI5Lr— Colin Poche (@colinpoche) June 6, 2020
Rice was shot by ex-Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann on Nov. 22, 2014 within seconds of the officer's arrival outside the Cudell Recreation Center.
A grand jury declined to indict Loehmann. He was fired in 2017, over two years after the shooting, when it was discovered he was previously deemed “unfit for duty.” He was not fired for the shooting, but rather for lying on his application and violating other administrative policies.
City officials charged Loehmann for failing to provide truthful information on his employment application regarding disciplinary actions, information surrounding his departure from a previous police department and failing a test in May 2013.
Earlier this year, Loehmann was hired as an officer in the village of Bellaire, Ohio, but he withdrew his application shortly after the news reported on the hire.
After Poche shared Tamir’s story and the petition on his Twitter, the Rays’ Twitter account retweeted the story to their followers.
The team had previously issued a statement standing against racial injustices and police violence, pledging $100,000 every year to support causes that help fight systemic racism.