Former Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann, who fatally shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice while on duty back in 2014, has withdrawn his application to join a Southeast Ohio Village’s police department, our NBC sister station WTOV confirms.
Tamir’s mother Samaria also announced Loehmann had rescinded his application during a statement Wednesday to Cleveland media. She and others strongly condemned the Bellaire Police Department after it announced last week it had hired Loehmann as a part-time officer. Chief Richard Flanagan originally said Loehmann “deserves a second chance.”
Tamir, who was black, was playing with a pellet gun outside a rec center when he was shot by Loehmann, who is white. While Loehmann was never criminally charged, the Cleveland Division of Police fired him last year after it was discovered he was previously deemed “unfit for duty.”
Bellaire’s decision to hire Loehmann provoked strong reactions on both sides, with some agreeing he deserved to continue his police career while others outraged that any department would hire him based on his past history.
Samaria Rice sided with the latter camp, and in a statement released earlier this week, she called Loehmann “dangerous.” On Wednesday in Cleveland, she further said, “As long as I’m living, he’ll never be a police officer in America.”
Those there to support Samaria stated Loehmann only pulled his application after they and others (including some in Bellaire) spoke up. Others even want more, calling on Chief Flanagan to resign.