*A Cleveland Emergency Medical Services (EMS) captain has been fired over disparaging comments he made on social media regarding Tamir Rice.
Fox 8 Cleveland reports that the dismissal stemmed from a Facebook post from Captain Jamie Marquardt. On Monday (03-14-16), Marquardt weighed in on Rice’s death, saying, “Tamir Rice should have been shot and I am glad he is dead.”
“I wish I was in the park that day as he terrorized innocent patrons by pointing a gun at them,” the post read. “I am upset I did not get the chance to kill the little criminal (expletive).”
Marquadt’s comments come a little more than a month after Rice’s family was hit with an EMS bill following the 12-year-old’s death. Rice, who was holding a BB gun, was fatally shot by Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann after he and his partner Frank Garmback responded to an emergency call about a person brandishing a gun in the park.
Although the caller stated the person appeared to be “juvenile” and that the gun was “probably fake,” Loehmann still approached and shot Rice with little warning. News and video footage of the incident triggered nationwide outrage as police investigated what happened. Loehmann ultimately came away from the situation unpunished, which further heightened tension between people of color and police officials across the country.
At this time, Rice’s family continues to pursue an ongoing wrongful death suit against the City of Cleveland.
Attempting to do damage control, Marquardt issued a statement soon after news surfaced of his post. In his statement, Marquardt claimed that he wasn’t the person responsible for making the inflammatory post, saying, “Someone…picked up my phone and made some awful posts under my name. I want to apologize for those who thought it was me. I do not believe or stand for what was written.”
Despite his efforts, Marquardt’s public apology didn’t fly with his bosses who quickly terminated him from his position at Cleveland’s EMS despite a subsequent public apology. At this time, no statement has been issued from Marquardt since his termination.
In a public statement of its own via its spokesman, Dan Williams, Cleveland condemned 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,” the statement read in part.