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Police union to appeal ruling keeping ex-Cleveland officer Timothy Loehmann from department

An arbitrator made the ruling Wednesday.

CLEVELAND -- The former Cleveland police officer who was fired for allegedly lying on his department application prior to his involvement in the shooting of Tamir Rice won't get his job back.

An arbitrator made the ruling Wednesday, a decision Cleveland police union president Jeff Follmer called a "witch hunt" during a news conference.

Follmer also said the union plans to appeal the arbitrator's decision.

The union says Loehmann's application with the city of Cleveland said he resigned from a former position with the Independence Police Department, citing "personal reasons" for his departure. But personnel records indicated the city of Independence was in the process of firing Loehmann at the time of his resignation.

Loehmann was fired from the force in May 2017 after the city determined he neglected to disclose important information on his 2013 application. The city never realized it until Loehmann fell into the spotlight after his involvement in the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

Loehmann was one of the Cleveland officers to respond to calls of what they thought was an 18-year-old pointing a gun at people outside Cudell Recreation Center on Nov. 22, 2014.

Two seconds after opening the cruiser door, Loehmann fired at Rice, who did not survive. Loehmann later said he thought Rice was reaching for a gun in his waistband. The case made national headlines and drew outrage.

Loehmann was not indicted on any charges for Rice's death.

The police union claims the incident involving Rice was a factor in the arbitrator's decision when it should not have been.

RELATED | Cleveland fires Timothy Loehmann 2 1/2 years after Tamir Rice shooting

More outrage occurred this past October, when Loehmann was hired by the Bellaire Police Department in southern Ohio.

The decision to hire Loehmann provoked strong reactions on both sides, with some agreeing he deserved to continue his police career while others were outraged that any department would hire him based on his history.

As a result, Loehmann withdrew his application to join the Bellaire force.

MORE | Officer who fatally shot Tamir Rice withdraws application to join Ohio village police force

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