Officer Who Murdered Tamir Rice Returns to Work as a Cop

It’s been almost four years since 12-year old Tamir Rice was murdered at the park by Cleveland police. Rice would have been in high school today if not for the immediate and brutal actions of Timothy Loehmann, the officer who gunned Rice down just seconds after pulling up at the park and jumping out of his police car.

Officers responding to a call about a suspect allegedly waving a gun at the park spent no time actually attempting to disarm or even speak with the child, who was in fact playing with a toy weapon – not an actual firearm. Loehmann ended the preteen’s life before it hardly even began.

And now the officer is probably armed and back in action.

According to the New York Times, Loehmann — who was fired from the Cleveland police force soon after the incident — now has a new position at another Ohio police precinct. The Times reports:

The Bellaire Police Department, which patrols a community of about 4,000 just opposite the Ohio River from West Virginia, announced on Friday that the officer, Timothy Loehmann, had joined the force in a part-time position. The department’s chief said he had no concerns about hiring Officer Loehmann, who was not charged in Tamir’s death but who was fired last year after a Cleveland Police Department investigation into the shooting uncovered that he had lied on his job application.

“He was cleared of any and all wrongdoing,” Bellaire police chief Richard Flanagan, told The Times Leader, adding that “It’s over and done with.”

Loehmann may have been officially cleared, but not without massive controversy. Loehmann first claimed Rice incited the shooting, trying to pull a gun out of his waistband when police urged him to disarm. That story was directly rebuked by the surveillance video eventually released regarding the interaction. Despite this obviously contradictory evidence, somehow Loehmann was still not convicted with any sort of wrongdoing.

Apparently Bellaire doesn’t have an issue with a trigger-happy cop who mows down sixth graders in the park. The department also don’t seem to be bothered by the fact that Loehmann didn’t actually resemble a good police officer even before he murdered Rice.

As I wrote shortly after Rice’s death:

When Loehmann was identified as the shooter, news reports revealed a troubled cop who repeatedly failed to get positions in other precincts. Even in his Cleveland job he scored a mere 46 percent on the written entrance exam, according to Cleveland.com. Loehmann sought out these positions after resigning from another police force upon receiving a poor performance review, the newspaper reported.

Samira Rice was already tasked with the unbearable task of burying her son and trying to get some sort of justice from the Cleveland Police Department after the shooting. Now she’s being forced again to advocate for those Loehmann has harmed — and all of those he could potentially harm in his new position. Rice is advocating to get Loehmann removed from the Bellaire police department before he can hurt anyone else.

The Daily Beast reports:

“It’s going to take more than four years to rehabilitate that,” Rice said. “He murdered a 12-year-old innocent child. He doesn’t need to be on anyone’s police force.” Rice, who is the process of opening a cultural center for youth named after her son, said her family felt “re-traumatized” by the news about Loehmann. Her 18-year-old daughter, who was handcuffed when she tried to rush to Tamir’s side after the shooting, “actually collapsed when she heard it.”

Loehmann has repeatedly shown that he’s unfit for the police force. He was fired from his job in Cleveland for falsifying employment info. He recklessly murdered a child. And before that, he resigned from a position prior to being fired for having “’dismal’ handgun skills and was described as ‘distracted’ and ‘weepy’ during firearms qualification training,” and for lying and insubordination.  There is no way he should be allowed into any position of authority in the legal system.

Leaving him in this job could literally end lives, and the Bellaire police must rethink their hiring decision.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

26 comments

Cindy M. D
Cindy M. D7 days ago

WHAT???? Where is the justice for the Rice family?? Having the murderer of their son return to his job and his normal life is the cruelest and most heartless action that could be taken against a grieving family. DISGUSTED... :(

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Brian F
Brian F10 days ago

If you murder someone and you are a cop, you get paid leave, while a phony internal affairs investigation clears you of any crimes, and you are never even charged with a crime, and can get another job in another job in another police department.

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Leo C
Leo C10 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Anne M
Anne Moran11 days ago

He better watch his back...

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Ann W
Ann W11 days ago

Memo to Richard Flanagan: It's not over and done with for Tamir Rice's family and never will be.

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Paul Cole
Paul Cole11 days ago

its open season on black males and the police don't even attempt to hide it.

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Alea C
Alea C11 days ago

It's NEVER going to be "over and done with" you sanctimonious pos.

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Jetana A
Jetana A11 days ago

This murderer should have been prosecuted, not just fired, and should never work as a cop again!

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michela c
michela c11 days ago

Thanks

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Loredana V
Loredana V11 days ago

Horrific!

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