WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Timothy Loehmann, who fatally killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014, has been hired by a rural police force.
- Bellaire Police Chief Richard Flanagan says Loehmann deserves “a second chance.”
- According to the Rice family’s lawyer, Tamir’s mom believes that Loehmann doesn’t belong to any police force anywhere.
The police officer who fatally gunned down 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland four years ago has been hired by a police department in rural Ohio. The Times Leader confirms Bellaire’s police chief Richard Flanagan verified Friday he hired Timothy Loehmann as a part-time officer.
Flanagan stressed Loehmann, who was 26 when the shooting happened, deserves a second chance since he was never charged in Tamir’s death.
“He was cleared of any and all wrongdoing. He was never charged. It’s over and done with,” Flanagan told local media WTOV.
“He’s not quitting on being a police officer. He made a decision that’s going to stay with him the rest of his life.
The chief added that everyone who makes a mistake deserves a second chance “like anybody else.”
Bellaire is a village along Ohio River, above 150 miles south of Cleveland, with a population of roughly 4,000.
Tamir, a black American, was playing outside a recreation center with a pellet gun when Loehmann, who is white, shot him dead in November 2014. The shooting happened after a 911 call report that someone was brandishing a gun in a park. The witness noted that the person was “probably a juvenile” and that the gun was “probably fake”.
A grand jury refused to indict the officer. Loehmann was fired from the Cleveland police department last year after he was believed “unfit for duty.”
Rice’s family attorney, Subodh Chandra, said Rice’s mother, Samaria Rice, believes “Loehmann doesn’t belong on any police force anywhere & shouldn’t be foisted upon the citizenry.”
“But she does hope that this means that he will not ever return to Cleveland,” Chandra added.
Source: CBS News