Jamie Marquardt argued that the social media posts were protected free speech and that Cleveland violated his rights by firing him in 2016. He has maintained that the posts were added to his Facebook account by someone else. Marquardt later deleted the posts. In one post, Marquardt said that he was glad Tamir Rice was dead.
In their ruling issued Wednesday, the three-judge appellate court acknowledged the many freedoms that the First Amendment guarantees but also noted that "in this unique circumstance, defendants had an overriding interest in preserving the public’s trust in Cleveland EMS’s capacity to serve the public.” On that basis, the panel found the lower court was correct to grant summary judgment to the city and its EMS commissioner.