Timothy Loehmann, the police officer who shot and killed Tamir Rice in 2014, has found a new job at a small police department in rural Ohio.
A local news outlet, the Times Leader, reports that Loehmann was hired as a part-time officer with the Bellaire Police Department. According to the article, their police chief, Richard Flanagan, has said that he believes in second chances when he was asked about Loehmann’s hiring.
“He was cleared of any and all wrongdoing,” the chief said. “He was never charged. It’s over and done with.”
As Cleveland.com notes, Loehmann and another officer were responding to a 911 call which stated that a “guy with a gun” was flashing it at people at a park. The person who made the call stipulated that the “guy” was probably a “juvenile” and that the weapon was probably fake.
Loehmann was still a trainee at the time. He and the senior officer were not told that Rice was not an adult and that the gun was most likely a toy. When the police cruiser pulled up to the park, Loehmann jumped out of the passenger side and shot Rice twice at close range.
Rice was 12 years old when he was killed.
At first, he said that he issued a warning to Rice before shooting but footage of the incident revealed that he shot the boy within two seconds of the cruiser stopping at the park.
Both officers did not administer first aid to Tamir Rice. Officers who were in the vicinity investigating an unrelated crime did so until the paramedics arrived.
The former Cleveland police officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice has been hired by a police department in a small Ohio village.— WTOL 11 (@WTOL11Toledo) October 6, 2018
He was fired last year after it was discovered he was previously deemed "unfit for duty." https://t.co/GoToY26Yyu pic.twitter.com/CuAy0aV4qf
Loehmann was never indicted thanks to a grand jury decision in his favor. He was also cleared by the Cleveland’s Critical Incident Review Commission.
But he was eventually fired by the Cleveland Police for omitting details from his application to the force. According to Cleveland.com notes, he did not disclose that he would have been fired from the previous police department he served. He was permitted to resign instead.
The Times Leader notes that his previous department chief described him as a man who had difficulty following directions. His report on Loehmann also called his performance at firearms training “dismal.”
“I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct the deficiencies,” the police chief wrote.
Loehmann also didn’t reveal that he was not hired at other agencies he applied to.
But his new chief doesn’t seem too concerned about his past.
“I have full confidence and faith in every police officer here,” Flanagan said. “We have eight full-time officers and five part-time officers. And if anyone is looking for a part-time job, call me. All officers are on a probationary period of one year.”