A little more than a month after the family of Tamir Rice was distastefully hit with an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) bill in the wake of his being shot and killed by Cleveland Police Oficer Timothy Loehmann, comes the news that the city’s EMS captain has been relieved of his duties after making disparaging remarks about Rice on social media earlier this week.
According to Fox 8 Cleveland, Captain Jamie Marquardt took to Facebook on Monday (March 14) to share his thoughts on the infamous incident.
“Tamir Rice should have been shot and I am glad he is dead,” Marquardt’s post read. “I wish I was in the park that day as he terrorized innocent patrons by pointing a gun at them. I am upset I did not get the chance to kill the little criminal (expletive).”
Rice, 12, was gunned down in November 2014 while holding a BB gun after Officer Loehmann and partner Frank Garmback responded to an emergency call about a person brandishing a gun in the park. The caller stated that the person appeared to be “juvenile” and that the gun was “probably fake,” but Loehmann still approached and shot Rice with little warning. The shooting was caught on camera and quickly outraged the nation. After more than a year of investigating, officials opted not to indict Loehmann, further escalating tension between people of color and police officials across the country.
Not long after news of Marquardt’s post broke, he issued a statement claiming not to be the person responsible for making the inflammatory post.
“Someone…picked up my phone and made some awful posts under my name,” he said. “I want to apologize for those who thought it was me. I do not believe or stand for what was written.”
Unfortunately for Marquardt, no one bought his story, especially his superiors, and he was quickly fired from his positon at Cleveland’s EMS despite a subsequent public apology. The city’s EMS spokesman, Dan Williams, issued a public statement condemning Marquardt’s post.
“The posts were not acceptable and do not represent the views or standards of the City of Cleveland administration, Department of Public Safety or Division of Emergency Medical Services,” read the statement in part.
Marquardt has not issued a statement since being fired.
Rice’s family is still pursuing an ongoing wrongful death suit against the City of Cleveland.