In November of 2014, 12 year old Tamir Rice was playing in the park with a pellet gun. An individual saw him and called the police stating a black man was pointing a gun at people. Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann arrived on the scene and within seconds of exiting his vehicle he shot and killed Tamir Rice. A Grand Jury declined to indict Loehmann but the Cleveland Police Department was able to fire him after finding out Loehmann had lied on his application. Loehmann had previously worked for the Independence Police Department but was dismissed as being unfit to serve which was information he did not put on his application to the Cleveland Police Department.
Timothy Loehmann was just hired again. Bellaire Chief of Police, Richard Flanagan, hired Loehmann. When questioned about his decision, Flanagan jumped to the defense of Loehmann commenting on the pressure Loehmann has been under and all he’s been through. Flanagan stated, “He was never charged. It’s over and done with.”
That’s a very disturbing attitude. Not only had Loehmann been found unfit by one police department and had killed a child when employed by another police department. If for no other reason this police chief should consider the liability risk he was incurring for his department by hiring Loehmann. However, Police Chief Flanagan has his own issues. His inability to control his temper has resulted in at least one reprimand but there are many other examples of unacceptable behavior by Flanagan. (For more information see the Daily Beast article). It’s not surprising that a bad officer would support another bad officer but this is a huge problem. Someone like Timothy Loehmann should never be able to hold a law enforcement position again.
The media attention that was focused on Loehmann becoming an officer again, finally had him withdrawing his application. Unfortunately, there are plenty of other Richard Flanagan type police chiefs out there. I doubt this is the end of it.
For more information go the NBC article.