The police union in Cleveland, Ohio has asked the state’s supreme court to review the termination of the officer who shot and killed Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy, in 2014.
The Cleveland Police Department’s (CPD) termination of former police officer Timothy Loehmann violated the contract between the city and the union, the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association (CPPA) argued, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday. An Ohio appeals court ruled against Loehmann in March after the union incorrectly filed court documents.
“We just want the merits heard,” Jeff Follmer, the president of the CPPA, told Cleveland.com.
The CPPA asked the Ohio Supreme Court to order the appeals court to make a ruling on its arguments, which it never did because of the clerical error, The Post reported.
“It’s his constitutional right to go forward on this and it’s a political thing. He’s not getting his job back because of all the politics,” Follmer told FOX affiliate WJW-TV.
Loehmann, who had been a rookie officer-in-training, shot and killed Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old wielding an air pistol at a Cleveland park, in November 2014. Nearby security camera footage showed Loehmann shoot Rice almost immediately upon arriving to the scene.
One year after the shooting, an Ohio grand jury declined to indict Loehmann and his partner on criminal charges, according to Reuters. The Department of Justice (DOJ) declined to bring charges against the officers in December.
Rice’s mother Samaria Rice wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland earlier this month, requesting that the DOJ reopen the case, according to a letter obtained by The New York Times. Samaria Rice argued that the DOJ under former President Donald Trump declined to file charges for political reasons.
The CPD terminated Loehmann in 2017 after an internal investigation revealed he had lied on his job application, Cleveland.com reported. The firing was unrelated to the Rice shooting, officials said.