The cop who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 may get his job back after nearly eight months off the force.
The Cleveland Police Department fired Officer Timothy Loehmann in May 2017, not for killing Rice, but for lying on his job application. On Wednesday, Loehmann will begin arbitration proceedings, a third-party review of his firing, according to Northeast Ohio Media Group, in hopes of getting his job back.
The Cleveland Police Department fired Loehmann after an internal review found he had lied about his past experience as a police officer, failing to disclose that he had been let go from the Independence, Ohio Police Department after they determined he was unfit to be a police officer, due to a series of bad behavior and an emotional breakdown.
But it was the 2014 shooting that sparked large protests across the country, after Loehmann and his partner, Frank Garmback, received a call about an African American kid who was playing with a toy gun in a Cleveland park. The 911 dispatcher failed to inform officers that the caller said the gun was “probably fake,” and Loehmann jumped out of the patrol car and fired at the 12-year-old almost instantly, killing him.
Both Garmback and Loehmann were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, though the department suspended Garmback for 10 days for his role in the shooting, a decision he appealed to an arbitrator. He is currently awaiting a decision.
A 2017 Washington Post investigation found that hundreds of officers fired for misconduct have regained their jobs thanks to arbitration.
The City of Cleveland agreed to pay Rice’s family $6 million in April 2016 to avoid a lawsuit. The city did not admit any wrongdoing.