The Slatest

Officer Who Killed Tamir Rice Hired by Rural Ohio Police Department

Demonstrators march on Ontario St. on December 29, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Demonstrators march on Ontario St. on December 29, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Angelo Merendino/Getty Images

The police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland has found a new job in law enforcement. Timothy Loehmann is one of the new officers hired in the small Ohio village of Bellaire, which has a population of about 4,170.

In November 2014, Loehmann was one of two officers who responded to a 911 call about a man waving a gun around at a recreation center in Cleveland. When the officers arrived they encountered Rice, who was playing with a pellet gun. But Loehmann fired his service weapon twice. A grand jury declined to indict Loehmann, who was later fired in 2017 for being untruthful on his job application.

Tamir Rice’s family members criticized the hiring. “Ms. Rice believes that Timothy Loehmann does not belong on any police force, anywhere, period,” said Rice family attorney Subodh Chandra. “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.”

The head of the police department in the eastern Ohio town defended the decision to hire Loehmann part time. “The last guy I hired part-time, as you know, was Tim Loehmann from the Cleveland Police Department, who was involved in a shooting in which a young man had lost his life,” said Bellaire Police Chief Dick Flanagan. “He had put his application in to several police departments. He also still wants to be a police officer. He’s not quitting on being a police officer. He made the decision (in 2014) that’s going to stay with him the rest of his life. Like anybody else, if you make a mistake, someone’s gotta give you a second chance. Give someone the opportunity.”