Protests Rise After Officer in Tamir Rice Shooting Plays on Football Team
When the new player appeared on the emergency staff-made Semipro football team, he was only walked by Tim or Timmy. Said Randy Knight, a lineman on the team, a lineman in the team who took Tim under his wing and taught him the basics: a three-point stance, a “firing off the” line, a push back to the line of proper hand placement.
He didn’t interact much outside the field, Knight said, but he played with Tim, who kept himself without incident for most of the two seasons.
But in early 2019, a fellow Semipro footballer questioned why Knight was playing for the Cleveland Warriors.
“They’re racist,” according to Knight, the player. “The guy who killed Tamir Rice is in that team.”
Tamir was a 12-year-old black boy badly shot in 2014 by a white Cleveland police officer. Knight searched Google for information about Tamir’s killer, and popped images of the man he knew as Timmy – Timothy Loiman.
“I got upset,” said Knight, a former Correctional Officer.
Lohman’s involvement with the team went public last week Reported by a local television station. Knight Led the protest at the Warriors’ practice facility On Saturday, saying that the team’s management had lied to him by allowing Lohman, who Was fired from the police force in 2017 But to continue playing with the team, not the culprit in the shooting. Activists and supporters of Tamir’s family have since resented the former officer’s presence in the team, not least because it National Public Safety Football League, Which was originally started for law enforcement.
“I think it’s reckless and irresponsible for her,” Tamir’s mother Samaria Rice said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “His career as a police officer in Ohio State is over as far as I’m concerned. It’s just ridiculous.”
The league requires players to be active-duty emergency responders. Warriors coach Bill Sapranko said that although Lomhane was fired in 2017, the team allowed him to continue to play while his arbitration appeal was pending and Lahman was removed from the team in late 2018 Was. After the most recent season was over. (The league, a 20-team group that began playing in 1997, did not play last year due to a coronovirus epidemic.)
Sofranko, who is white, said he had allowed Loiman to continue practicing with the team and, contrary to Knight’s claim, he had never hidden the former officer’s identity.
Lohhmann is still trying to regain his job as a Cleveland police officer – he is currently appealing his firing in state court. His lawyer, Henry Hilo, said it was unfair for people to criticize Loehmann for being on the football team.
“Every time he does something in his life, someone is going to pelt?” Hilo asked. “There were never any criminal charges against him. Whether people agree or disagree, this is the reality of the situation. “
A grand jury in Cuyahoga County Lohhmann refuses to charge in 2015 In the shooting of Tamir, and in late December, Department of Justice announced It was closing its investigation into the case without filing charges.
Sofranko, 65, said Lohman joined the team in 2017 the way most players do – he showed just one day. He did not know about Lohman’s involvement in the Temir shooting, Sofranko said, until the former officer told him at breakfast after practice one morning. Learning that, Sofranco said, he was never asked whether Lohman should be in the team.
“Why should I have?” Sofranco said.
A former player, who is Black and now serves as an assistant coach, said he was initially uncomfortable to learn that Lohiman had killed Tamir, but then spoke to the former official about it.
“I personally got to know Tim,” said the former player, who was only asked to be identified by his nickname, Lebo. “He was remorseful. He was apologetic. “
Sofranco said Knight had not objected to Loehmann’s presence on the team until about two weeks ago, when he informed Knight that he was being dropped from the team as he left the Ohio Department of Corrections and He was not eligible to play in the league. .
Sofranco said, “He is using this black-white cheese Tamir rice to support his anger and vengeance.” “Every black person on the team supports Tim Loeman.”
The knight forcefully refuses him. He said that the coaching staff seemed to hide Lohmann’s entire identity – he was not introduced to the entire team in the way most players are.
Once, Knight said that Lohman was circumspect with him. When Lohman was suspended from the police force during a conversation, Lohman said it was due to technicality with his resume and that he would soon withdraw from his job, Knight recalled.
The ironman was actually fired because he lied in his rims, but Knight said he felt he should have given more information about the Tamir shooting.
But as soon as he found out who Lohman was, Knight said, he reached out to several members of the team’s management, including Sofranko, to complain. Knight provided screenshots of several text messages sent to a team board member in March 2019, in which he expressed concern about Loimann’s presence on the team.
“How did this guy get in the team?” Knight said he asked the team’s management. “How did we let this happen?”
Knight said that the management assured him several times that Loehmann would no longer be in the team. But whenever Knight showed up for the game, Lohmann was present there. It all flew before the championship game in 2019 in Los Angeles.
The team paid everyone’s way, according to Sofrenko, with a $ 20,000 contribution from Dee Haslam, an owner of the Cleveland Browns. A Brown spokesman said it was a one-time contribution. The Haslam family was unaware that Loehmann was on the team at the time, he said, and there are no plans to donate.
The night before the game, Knight said, he argued with several teammates about the fact that Loimann had traveled, but he eventually decided to play so that the team would not be disappointed. Warriors Los Angeles lost to Grizzlies, 24–0.
Knight said he decided to get reassurance this year that Lohman would no longer be with the team. But Loehmann was at the practice facility in early January. Before he could object, Knight said, Sofranco told him he was out of the team for being disruptive.
“Why is he here?” Knight said that he asked Sofranko, referring to Loferman. “So you’re all mad at me because I talked?”
Knight returned to practice two weeks later, this time as a keeper. Police were called to take the protesters out of the practice facility.