Mimesis Law
27 March 2017

Cleveland Cop Union Still Clueless On Tamir Rice

Apr. 28, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — It seemed like Cleveland officials had achieved peak callousness when the city recently billed the estate of Tamir Rice $500 for his “last dying expense”- the cost of the dying boy’s emergency medical treatment. Even though the charge was hastily withdrawn after the “creditor’s claim” appeared online, it did little to counter the perception that Cleveland city officials are tone deaf and clueless when it comes to this case.  

On Monday, Cleveland officials announced that they would pay $6 million to Tamir Rice’s estate. As part of the settlement, neither the city, nor Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, would admit to any wrongdoing in the killing of 12-year-old Rice. The city will pay $3 million this year and $3 million in 2017. The settlement releases the city and officers from all claims.

Hours later, Stephen Loomis, the president of Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, issued a brief statement with some unsolicited advice on how the Rice family should spend their settlement money:

We can only hope the Rice family and their attorneys will use a portion of this settlement to help educate the youth of Cleveland in the dangers associated with the mishandling of both real and facsimile firearms. Something positive must come from this tragic loss. We look forward to the possibility of working with the Rice family to achieve this common goal.

Unsurprisingly, Loomis’s statement made no acknowledgment of any police responsibility for Rice’s death.

In case you, like Loomis, may have forgotten, Tamir Rice died on November, 2014 after being shot in a park by rookie police officer Timothy Loehmann, who alongside his partner, Frank Garmback, was dispatched to find the boy playing with a toy gun. Video of the incident shows officer Timothy Loehmann firing within two seconds of opening the car door after his cruiser arrived at the park. The officers waited four minutes before administering first aid, when an FBI agent with paramedic training arrived at the scene. The boy died the next day.

Subodh Chandra, an attorney who represents the Rice family, did not pull any punches in response to Loomis’s missive. 

Loomis’s continued posturing shows he and the union still don’t comprehend that the police division needs a cultural change -– not hiring incompetents, better training and greater accountability. We’re all still in trouble if Loomis’ attitude reflects rank-and-file officers’ attitudes.

James Hardiman, attorney for the Cleveland chapter of the NAACP, echoed Chandra’s scathing criticism of Loomis:

They’re concerned about their safety and well-being, and as a result they’re making attempts to reach out to the community. Then we have a statement like this, and it puts not only the community in jeopardy but police officers.

He also said the statement “probably speaks to his intellect.”

Either he’s extremely conniving or he just doesn’t get it. I prefer the latter as opposed to the former.

Of course, there’s nothing to prevent Loomis from donating union funds to any cause his membership finds appropriate, assuming they’re in a charitable mood when it comes to funds that aren’t being paid because a cop killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice. It could be helping teach children about toy guns, or teaching police officer not to kill them.

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