The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association argued before the Cuyahoga County Court of Appeals for Timothy Loehmann.
Back in 2014, Loehmann shot and killed Rice after responding to a call about someone with a gun. Rice had a fake gun that looked like a powerful handgun, but the officer said he reached for his waistband and the shooting was ruled justified.
Years after the shooting, though, the city fired Loehmann accusing him of lying on his job application.
On Thursday, union attorney Henry Hilow told a panel of judges Loehmann didn’t lie. He said the city went way back looking for a technicality when it couldn’t fire him for the shooting.
“It was 772 days later, on Jan. 13, 2017, that an investigation was started. They went back to 2012 to try to manufacture a reason to fire him,” Hilow said.
“No person should be rewarded for lying. That’s what happened here. He lied,” said George Crisci, who represented the city at the hearing.
The mother of Tamir Rice released a statement.
“I’m disappointed that Loehmann and the police union have no shame about killing my child. He’s unfit to be a police officer,” Samaria Rice wrote.
“The union and Loehmann have no grasp or care about the continuing harm they inflict on the Rice family and the community with these continuing antics,” family attorney Subodh Chandra said.
The judges did not indicate when they might issue a ruling.