Appeal expected in Cleveland officers' suspensions

Appeal expected in Cleveland officers' suspensions

Questions are swirling around the city of Cleveland's decision to punish two supervisors with the Cleveland Police Department, whom the city says failed to adequately supervise and review Timothy Loehmann's background check on his application to become a police officer.

Loehmann shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice at Cudell Rec Center in November 2014. Officers responded to calls that the boy was armed, but he only had a BB gun. 

Lt. Gail Bindel was suspended for two days. Sgt. Edwin Santiago got a written reprimand.

Cleveland Police have said their investigators never reviewed Loehmann's personnel file in Independence. Loehmann quit the Independence Police Department on his first day.

Cleveland Police Patrol Association President Steve Loomis says the two supervisors are being served as scapegoats. He says the supervisors handed everything Independence Police gave them to the city's selection committee for their police academy. 

The decision to hire or not hire then goes to the city's public safety committee director, who was Marty Flask at the time. Flask makes the final decision after reviewing an applicant's documentation.

"They followed the manual, the procedures. They did the background checks. They presented all the information that the city of Independence gave them. This is really a side show," said Loomis.
 
19 Action News reached out to Marty Flask, who is now an executive assistant to Mayor Frank Jackson, but so far we have not received a response.   
 
The supervisors are expected to appeal the city's ruling through the fraternal order of police.

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