City fires Timothy Loehmann for giving false information on application to become police officer
Tomiko Shine holding up a picture of Tamir Rice during a protest in Washington in December 2014. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press
The Cleveland police officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice while the boy was holding a pellet gun in 2014 was fired Tuesday after an investigation found he violated rules in his application to be a police cadet, city officials said.
“Effective immediately, Patrol Officer [Timothy] Loehmann will be terminated from the Cleveland Police Department,” said Cleveland Director of Public Safety Michael McGrath at a press conference announcing the results of the city’s over a-year-long investigation into the shooting.
Mr. Loehmann was fired specifically for “providing false information” on his application to become a Cleveland police officer, a violation of city rules, rather than because of actions directly related to the shooting of Tamir Rice.
Additionally, Mr. Loehmann’s former partner, Frank Garmback, has been suspended for 10 days and given additional training for his involvement in the 2014 incident. His suspension starts Wednesday morning.
“I think we’ve come to what we consider a fair conclusion to this process,” said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams.
In documents supporting Mr. Loehmann’s termination, officials said that he omitted the fact that he would have been fired by his previous employer, the Independence Police Department in Ohio, for failing to secure his firearm and lying to a superior officer, but was allowed to resign instead.
The Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago Cubs 6-0 in Game 1 of the 2016 World Series on the strength of a commanding performance by their starter Corey Kluber who struck out nine batters over six innings.
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Read “The Republican convention just kicked off in Cleveland — and anything could happen” – http://bit.ly/2a5PCpg
On November 22, 2014, Tamir Rice was throwing snowballs and playing with a toy pellet gun in a Cleveland park when a police car rolled into the snowy field. Within two seconds of getting out of his squad car, officer Timothy Loehmann shot and killed the 12-year-old. The officer has claimed he thought the pellet gun was a real firearm.
On Monday, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty announced there will be no criminal charges filed against the officers involved. McGinty said that while there was evidence of miscommunication between a 911 dispatcher and the police officers, there was not enough evidence to suggest that the cops had cleared the very high bar for criminal charges in police shooting cases. Ultimately, a grand jury decided to file no charges, as McGinty said he recommended.
The Rice shooting has garnered widespread attention, elevated by the Black Lives Matter movement that has protested racial disparities in law enforcement’s use of force following the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. With tensions already high in Cleveland, the outcome of the grand jury hearings could decide whether the situation escalates as it did in Ferguson or Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody.
Cleveland police in riot gear made a number of arrests Saturday night as protesters poured into the streets, angry over the acquittal of a patrolman charged in the shooting deaths of two unarmed suspects.
Demonstrators chanting anti-police slogans temporarily blocked a downtown street and gathered outside the courthouse, the Associated Press reports. “Police blocked furious protesters from going inside while across the city others held a mock funeral with some carrying signs asking, ‘Will I be next?’ ” says the AP.
Police tweeted that officers made multiple arrests, including three in the downtown dining area, where a restaurant patron was injured by an object thrown through the window.
The verdict was for the Saturday morning on a holiday weekend to prevent traffic issues downtown, the county’s top judge told AP.
As the Two-Way’s Scott Neuman reported, a judge handed down a verdict of not guilty on two counts of voluntary manslaughter against a Cleveland officer charged in the 2012 deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams — unarmed suspects who were caught in a 137-shot hail of police gunfire following a high-speed chase.
“In summary, I find that the state did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant Michael Brelo caused the deaths Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams because the essential element of causation was not proved for both counts,” said Judge John P. O’Donnell.
As Neuman wrote Saturday,
“In a nearly hour-long verdict, O’Donnell cited testimony from a doctors for the prosecution and defense, saying he believed that while Brelo had delivered at least one fatal shot to both Russell and Williams, it was impossible to determine beyond a reasonable doubt that Brelo’s shots — and not those of a dozen other officers — were the ones that killed.
“O’Donnell, who began hearing testimony on April 6, also determined that Brelo’s use of force was constitutionally reasonable.”
Brelo still faces administrative charges.