The Former Cleveland Cop Who Killed Tamir Rice Was Welcomed on Amateur Cleveland Football Team for Cops Over Objections of Black Teammates

click to enlarge The Former Cleveland Cop Who Killed Tamir Rice Was Welcomed on Amateur Cleveland Football Team for Cops Over Objections of Black Teammates
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Black Lives Matter Cleveland and Black Spring Cleveland protested outside the practice of the Cleveland Warriors this weekend in North Royalton after it was revealed the amateur football team, composed of cops and first responders, had welcomed Timothy Loehmann to the squad and, according to former players, attempted to hide his identity from his teammates.

Loehmann, who shot and killed Tamir Rice in 2014, has been on the team for a number of years, according to WEWS and Ideastream.

This despite the objections of some teammates, six of whom, all young and Black, have been kicked off the team after voicing their concerns, according to former player Randy Knight.

Knight told Ideastream he quit in early January after realizing that the Timothy he played with was in fact Timothy Loehmann. Most players are referred to by their last names, he told the station, but Loehmann went by his first.

“That’s not a recognizable face, you know?” Knight told Ideastream. “Everyone else is called by his last name. Everyone else – Knight, Sullivan – but when it comes to Timothy they called him Tim or Timmy.”

Knight and others were concerned what their families and community would think of them for lining up alongside Loehmann, who is included in various Instagram pictures of the team.

Team president Bill Sofranko didn't respond to requests for comment but defended his decision to players in the past by saying that Loehmann had been through a lot.

Loehmann, with the help of the Cleveland police union, continues to fight for his job back after being fired in 2017 by the city of Cleveland for lying on his job application, but doesn't currently work in law enforcement. Players in the league are supposed to be active first responders.

Reached for comment by WEWS, Tamir's mother Samaria Rice said, “It’s disgusting and it's horrible. And the community should be concerned about how he keeps trying to slither his way back in different communities and different counties.”
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Vince Grzegorek

Vince Grzegorek has been with Scene since 2007 and editor-in-chief since 2012. He previously worked at Discount Drug Mart and Texas Roadhouse.
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