By Elaine Magliaro
The Shooting of Tamir Rice by a Cleveland Police Officer
Taylor Berman (Gawker) reported this afternoon that Tim Loehmann, the Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice last month, had resigned from a smaller Ohio police force in 2012 after he was found unfit for duty. Berman said, “Among other obviously disqualifying behavior, Loehmann was ‘distracted’ and ‘weepy’ during his firearm qualification session, according to just-released records from his brief tenure with the Independence police department.” Adam Ferrise (Cleveland.com) said that the officer also “had issues with handling guns…” while working for that suburban police department. According to a letter that was written by Deputy Chief Jim Polak of the Independence police, Lehmann “could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal.”
Polak’s letter recommended that the police department “part ways with Loehmann…” The Deputy Chief wrote, “I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct the deficiencies.” In addition, Polak wrote that he believed there would be certain situations during which Loehmann would “not react in the way instructed.”
Loehmann was allowed to resign from the Independence police. Ferrise said, “He tendered his resignation Dec. 4, 2012 after six months with the department. He was hired in March of this year by Cleveland police.”
Loehmann’s troubles began in 2012 while he attended the Cleveland Heights Police Academy. An issue with an on-again, off-again girlfriend caused Loehmann distress and, in one case, he fell asleep during training, according to a written report from Independence Police Sgt. Greg Tinnirello.
Loehmann told Tinnirello that he cried often about his personal issue during training and Loehmann’s mother told Tinnierello that her son’s study papers “would be soaked in tears nightly for three months.”
On Nov. 26, 2012, Loehmann was ordered to stay in the Independence police dispatch center. Loehmann left without authorization and lied to Tinnierello that the dispatchers told him he could leave, the letter says.
Loehmann eventually admitted to lying.
Sadly, it appears that Loehmann may have some serious emotional problems.
Ferrise reported that Lehmann “is currently under investigation by the Cleveland police department’s use of deadly force investigation team, made up of homicide detectives, several internal units and city and Cuyahoga County prosecutors in the Nov. 22 shooting outside the Cudell Recreation Center.”