Timothy Loehmann, the Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice within two seconds of encountering the boy, was deemed “unfit for duty” while serving on another police force. Supervisors specifically cited his “dismal” handgun performance and emotional instability when they forced him to resign in December 2012.
Loehmann was previously employed by the City of Independence. During a training exercise at a gun range, he became “distracted and weepy,” according to information obtained by The Guardian:
Officer Timothy Loehmann, who killed Tamir Rice on 22 November, was specifically faulted for breaking down emotionally while handling a live gun. During a training episode at a firing range, Loehmann was reported to be “distracted and weepy” and incommunicative. “His handgun performance was dismal,” deputy chief Jim Polak of the Independence, Ohio, police department wrote in an internal memo.
The memo concludes with a recommendation that Loehmann be “released from the employment of the City of Independence”. Less than a week later, on 3 December 2012, Loehmann resigned.
If you are so terrified of handing firearms that you cannot demonstrate proficiency with them, and they terrify you so much that you become a nervous wreck when you are forced to touch them, then why on earth would you pick a career where you must touch one every single day?
I can’t even begin to process just how screwed up this is.
Loehmann should never have been able to find a job in law enforcement after his spectacular wash-out at Independence.
The Cleveland Police Department failed to vet Loehmann adequately, and we can only wonder if this isn’t just the tip of the iceberg.
Heads need to roll in Cleveland.