Almost four years after Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann shot and killed Tamir Rice, he was handed another badge and gun and told to enforce the law.
But the Bellaire Police Department hired him only as a part-time officer.
Bellaire is a small town in Ohio of about 4,000 residents, about a two-and-a-half hour drive south from where Rice was killed.
Bellaire Police Chief Richard “Dick” Flanagan told The Intelligencer:
> “(Loehmann) was cleared of any and all wrongdoing. He was never charged. It’s over and done with.”
That was not the case though.
Even though a Cuyahoga County grand jury chose not to bring charges against Loehmann, he was still fired in May 2017 for lying on his job application because he did not reveal that he was dismissed from the Independence Police Department after proving to be incompetent with guns.
He was hired by the Cleveland Police Department despite his personnel file from the Independence Police stating he would break down and cry at the shooting range.
A further look into Loehmann’s personnel file shows that Independence Deputy Chief Jim Polak wrote the following about him:
> “He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal.”
> “I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct the deficiencies.”
In 2009, Loehmann also failed his entrance exam for the Maple Heights Police Department in Ohio, which he failed to disclose as well.
Loehmann is currently appealing the termination from the Cleveland Police Department, according to his attorney Henry Hilow.
Loehmann was still a rookie officer and riding as a passenger in the patrol car along with training officer, Frank Garmback, on Nov. 14, 2014 when they arrived to the Cudell Recreation Center.
The officers were responding to a 911 call, where the caller told dispatch that they believed the gun Rice had may have been a toy gun but that information did not get passed to the officers.
The time between the officers arriving and Rice being shot was two seconds. He was pronounced dead the next morning at the hospital.
Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, issued a statement through attorney Subodh Chandra according to Cleveland:
> “Ms. Rice believes that Timothy Loehmann does not belong on any police force, anywhere, period,” he said. “Someone with his record should not be subjected upon the citizenry. But she does hope that this means that he will not ever return to Cleveland.”
Loehmann is not the only officer that was recently hired by the Bellaire Police Department with a troubled past.
Bethesda’s currently suspended police chief, Eric Smith, was hired as well. Smith was is currently being investigated by the Ohio Attorney General’s office for misuse of a statewide computer system for law enforcement.
Flanagan also stated according to Fox8:
> “I have full confidence and faith in every police officer here. 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.”
With both these officers being hired with troubled pasts, shows that an officer can easily jump from one department to another with little to no consequences when their wrong doings are exposed.
They are known as “gypsy cops” and many department have them in their ranks.