- Timothy Loehmann, who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014, has been hired as a police officer in another department.
- Bellaire Police Chief Richard Flanagan said Loehmann deserves “a second chance.”
- Rice’s mother, Samaria Rice, believes “Loehmann doesn’t belong on any police force anywhere & shouldn’t be foisted upon the citizenry anywhere,” according to the Rice family’s attorney.
The police officer who fatally gunned down 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland four years ago has been hired by another police department in rural Ohio.
Timothy Loehmann will work as a cop in the Village of Bellaire, which has a population of roughly 4,000, Police Chief Richard Flanagan announced.
“He’s not quitting on being a police officer. He made a decision that’s going to stay with him the rest of his life,” Flanagan told CNN affiliate WTOV-TV. “Like anybody else, if you make a mistake, someone’s got to give you a second chance, give someone opportunity. There is no worry, I stand behind this officer.”
Loehmann fatally shot Rice in November 2014 after he and his partner, Frank Garmback, were called to a Cleveland recreation center. They had received a report that a person with a gun was outside, but the 911 dispatcher did not tell the officers that the caller had said the gun was “probably fake” and that its owner was most likely a juvenile.
Security footage from outside the recreation center showed Loehmann and Garmback’s police cruiser skidding to a halt near Rice, at which point Loehmann opened the car door and began firing at Rice within seconds.
Only after the shooting did it emerge that Rice was 12 and had been playing with a plastic pellet gun that had its orange safety tip removed.
A grand jury declined in 2015 to indict both officers in Rice’s death. Loehmann was fired from the police department in May 2017, after working on desk duty pending an administrative review since the 2014 shooting.
Both Rice’s shooting and the lack of prosecutorial action against Loehmann prompted national outrage and protests over police use of force and racial bias in the criminal-justice system.
Rice’s family attorney, Subodh Chandra, condemned Loehmann’s hiring in a tweet. She said Rice’s mother, Samaria Rice, believes “Loehmann doesn’t belong on any police force anywhere & shouldn’t be foisted upon the citizenry anywhere.”