The head of the union representing Cleveland police officers vows to overturn discipline handed out to 12 officers in connection with a 2012 chase and the shooting deaths of two unarmed people, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis called the firings of six officers and suspension of six others “politically motivated and insane,” and said the union has filed grievances on behalf of the officers who were fired. “Now Loomis is going to be the bad guy because I’m going to go get their jobs back,” Loomis said. “And I promise these guys are going to get their jobs back.”
Loomis accused city Safety Director Michael McGrath and other officials of bowing to the “false narrative” surrounding police killings in the U.S. in handing out the discipline. McGrath announced the firings and suspensions in connection for their roles in the Nov. 29, 2012 deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. The officers, along with a 13th who retired last year, fired a combined 137 shots into the car driven by Russell. Loomis said the process of going through arbitration could take months or years. “Our goal is to get in front of an arbitrator who’s not swayed by politics or any national discussion,” he said. “Politics in this city is absolutely appalling.” He noted that Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the incident resulted from a “systemic failure,” but top safety officials were promoted afterwards.