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Tamir Rice's Mother Petitions Against Rehiring Fired Officer

Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice in March 2018. Tamir was 12 years old when he was shot and killed by police in 2014. [Lisa Ryan / ideastream]
Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice in March 2018. Tamir was 12 years old when he was shot and killed by police in 2014.

The mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was killed by Cleveland Police officer Timothy Loehmann in 2014, delivered petitions to the Cleveland Police union Monday asking they stop their efforts to get Loehmann his job back, but the union has no plans to pull their support.

Samaria Rice says Loehmann is reckless and a danger to the community as a police officer.

"I have over 170,000 signatures from people across the country who are fed up with the CPPA [Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association] attempt to bring Loehmann back to the force," Rice said at a Monday press conference.

But CPPA President Jeff Follmer has no plans to halt the appeal of the decision upholding Loehmann's firing in March.

"We filed for appeal as soon as this arbitration award came out" Follmer said. "So, this is a couple months old so I'm not sure where these petitions are coming from all of a sudden, but our position has been the same from the get go that we're going to appeal this."

Rice says she understands the union has to defend officers.

"That is part of their job, but in this situation, Timothy Loehmann was fired for lying on his application," Rice said. "How are we going to trust him in our community if he's lying?"

Follmer doesn't believe Loehmann lied on his application to Cleveland Police.

"There was a CERT [Community Emergency Response Team] team to look at everything that he did that day, as far as administrative and criminal, and the only thing they could come up with was something on the application which came from somebody from Independence Police Department," Follmer said. "But we do have a letter of resignation and it's our position he resigned [from Independence] that day."

Loehmann and his partner, Frank Garmback, were found to not have violated any policies in the death of Rice. 

"[Loehmann] got cleared through a grand jury, he got cleared through the CERT team that had politicians, police supervisors, patrolmen and civilians on it and the only thing they came up with wa thes alleged lying on the application. We're appealing it and we support him," Follmer said.

No date has been set for a judge to review the decision to uphold Loehmann's firing from Cleveland, according to Follmer.

Glenn Forbes is supervising producer of newscasts at Ideastream Public Media.