The Officer That Shot Tamir Rice Has Finally Been Fired, But Not For Killing The 12-Year-Old
Timothy Loehmann, the police officer who fatally shot Rice was fired Tuesday.
May 30, 2017 at 7:36 pm
It's exhausting to read the many stories of police officers who not only go unpunished for their unjustifiable actions, but seemingly rewarded with "leave with pay."
However, at first glance, that doesn't appear to be the case here.
The announcement was confirmed at a news conference held by chief of police Calvin Williams who said Loehmann will be terminated immediately, and the officer who drove the patrol car, Frank Garmback, will be suspended for 10 days beginning Wednesday.
On that fateful day in 2014, the officers responded to a call about Rice playing with a pellet gun near a recreation center.
Though the caller specified that the gun was "probably fake," the responding officers were not made aware of this.
Video released of the incident shows Officer Loehmann shooting Rice within two seconds of the patrol car pulling up beside him. In 2015, a grand jury declined to bring charges against any of the officers involved.
After a special committee was created by the department to investigate Tamir's shooting, it was announced that the two officers, along with a third officer William Cunningham, would face administrative charges. The emergency dispatcher was suspended from work for eight days for violating protocol in her handling of the call.
The final decision to fire Loehmann was made after what Cleveland's Mayor Frank Jackson deemed an “exhaustive process” of investigation. Exhaustive, indeed. As of the time of this posting, Loehmann fired the fatal shot that killed Rice 2 years, 6 months, and 8 days ago.
Tamir Rice was killed 2 years, 6 months, and 8 days ago. Today, the officer who shot him was fired. https://t.co/MatGulhaHd— Kia Makarechi (@Kia_Mak) May 30, 2017
Per Williams, Loehmann’s firing is effective immediately, while Garmback will be required to take an additional tactical training course.
“This has been tough on our entire community, and definitely on the Rice family,” Williams said. “When this happened in 2014, I made the comment that this is of course a tragedy, but it’s even more tragic that it happened at the hands of a Cleveland police officer.”
However, digging deeper, it becomes clear that the official reason for Loehmann's termination isn't killing Rice, but rather "providing false information" on his job application to become a cop.Cleveland Scene reports that Loehmann was in the process of being fired for "dismal performance" after the shooting, but was given the opportunity to resign first. The reason: he'd failed to disclose the struggles that had caused him to leave his old job as a cop in Independence, Ohio.
Not exactly justice, and it is unfortunate that we have to desperately grasp onto these "small wins." Regardless, he shouldn't be on anyone's patrol force ever again.