Officer Who Shot Tamir Rice Finally Fired, But NOT For Killing An Unarmed Child

After more than two years, the Cleveland police officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice has finally been fired. But the reason for his firing has sparked even more outrage.

Timothy Loehmann, who was a rookie when he pullled the trigger on that fateful day in November 2014, was not fired for killing an unarmed child. Instead, he was given his walking papers because he lied on his application. reports: “Loehmann was fired not for shooting Tamir, but for lying on his application with the Cleveland police department. He was also in his probationary period as a Cleveland officer giving the department more flexibility in letting him go, Cleveland Public Safety Director Michael McGrath said.”

The disciplinary letter cites a letter in Loehmann’s personnel file from Independence that says he was emotionally immature and had “an inability to emotionally function.” The letter also cites an emotional breakdown Loehmann had on the gun range in Independence.

Cleveland officials said in the letter that Loehmann was supposed to disclose that information. He was also supposed to say in his application that he failed a 2009 written exam when applying to work as an officer in Maple Heights. Loehmann never mentioned the Maple Heights test.

A spokesperson for Tamir’s relatives said that Loehmann’s firing was “deeply disappointing” and “only added insult to the pain and grief of the Rice family.”

“Loehmann has been fired because he should never have been a police officer in the first place — but he should have been fired for shooting my son in less than one second, not just for lying on his application,” Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, said in a statement.

On November 22, 2014, police got a report of a black male with a gun in a local park. The 911 dispatcher didn’t bother to mention to police that the caller has said it was most likely a child and the gun was probably a fake. When Loehmann arrived with his partner, Frank Garmback, it took about three seconds for Loehmann to shoot and kill the 12-year-old, who was holding a toy gun.

An Ohio grand jury decided not to incict either of the officers in December of 2015. Garmback was given a 10-day suspension because he pulled his cruiser too close to the child on the day of the shooting, which violated safety protocol. The 911 operator received an eight day suspension in March of this year for her role Rice’s death. The city of Cleveland reached a $6 million settlement with the Rice family in April of last year, but still refused to admit to any wrongdoing.

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