October 09, 2018

White police officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice hired by Ohio PD

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A police officer who wrongfully shot a 12-year-old boy and was fired from his job four years ago has reportedly been hired as an officer again. His new employer believes he deserves a second chance.  

A white police officer from Cleveland who shot a 12-year-old boy four years ago is in the receiving end of a second chance. He was hired as a part-time officer by a police department in eastern Ohio as he was believed to have been cleared of any wrongdoing in relation to the boy’s death. 

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Timothy Loehmann was relieved from the Cleveland Police Department after he shot Tamir Rice outside a recreation center four years ago with a pellet gun. The incident occurred after witnesses called 911 reporting someone wielding a gun in the park. The caller said the person was juvenile and was holding a gun that was most likely fake. However, the 911 operator who dispatched the call failed to provide this important information to the police. True enough, Tamir was playing with a toy pistol but was shot by Loehman for it. He died the next day due to the gunshot wound. 

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Loehman was never indicted on any charges and was cleared by a Cuyahoga County grand jury and Cleveland’s Critical Incident Review Commission though he was terminated from his job then. This was the reason four years later, Bellaire Police Chief Richard Flanagan decided to hire Loehman as a part-time officer believing in second chances. Flanagan defended his hire by telling WTOV,

“He was cleared of any and all wrongdoing. He was never charged. It’s over and done with.”

"Like anybody else, if you make a mistake, someone's got to give you a second chance, give someone opportunity. There is no worry, I stand behind this officer ... I'll stand behind this officer like I will any of my officers."

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Cases of black people being wrongly killed by white policemen this year have caused an outrage among the black community. First, it was Botham Jean who was fatally shot after a white female officer mistook him for trespassing in his own apartment.

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Then there was Stephon Clark who was shot to death on his grandmother’s backyard after police thought the cell phone he was holding was a gun. 

 

According to a research conducted by the New York Times, there were a total of 15 cases of black people who were killed during a confrontation with the police between 2014 to 2016. Among those cases, only 3 officers were convicted, 6 were fired, 8 were indicted or charged and 11 settled. These settlements awarded to the families ranged from $850,000 to $6.5 million. 

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