Officer who killed Tamir Rice quits rural Ohio police department days after hiring

Credit: Angelo Merendino

Credit: Angelo Merendino

UPDATE 4:50 p.m. Oct. 10: The former Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 has withdrawn his application for a Bellaire, Ohio, police department.

WKYC reported that Tamir's mother, Samaria Rice, announced the news during a news conference in Cleveland Wednesday.

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"As of this afternoon, Timothy Loehmann has withdrawn his application in Bellaire," Rice said, according to NBC News. "Hopefully, he will not be hired as a police officer by any other state."

Before making the announcement, Rice said the hiring felt like an attack.

“It feels like a personal attack on our family at the hands of the Bellaire Police Department,” she said. “It is also putting the safety of innocent people at risk.”

Bellaire Police Chief Richard Flanagan confirmed Loehmann’s resignation.

"I have accepted his withdrawal from the Bellaire police department," Flanagan said in a statement to WKYC. "The pressures of all of this. He's been through enough the last couple years. He cared about the community here. He didn't want no protests, no violence, nothing of that nature."

Rice said she was happy about the news. When asked about Loehmann working as an officer elsewhere in the country, she said, “As long as I’m living, he won’t.”

Original report:

The former Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 has been hired by a rural Ohio police department.

The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register reported that Timothy Loehmann is one of two part-time officers with the Bellaire Police Department in Bellaire, Ohio. The other officer hired is Eric Smith, who was suspended as Bethesda, Ohio, police chief and is under investigation by the Ohio attorney general's office. Smith allegedly misused a statewide law enforcement computer system, The Intelligencer reported.

Police Chief Richard Flanagan confirmed the hiring Friday, saying he believes Loehmann and Smith deserve a second chance and Loehmann was never charged in Tamir’s death.

"He was cleared of any and all wrongdoing," Flanagan said of Loehmann, according to The Intelligencer. "He was never charged. It's over and done with."

According to reports, Loehmann shot and killed Rice less than two seconds after he arrived at a Cleveland recreation center to investigate what turned out to be a pellet gun. WOIO reported that Loehmann shot Tamir multiple times.

Loehmann was not charged in relation to the shooting. He was cleared by Cleveland’s Critical Incident Review Commission and a Cuyahoga County grand jury.

"Ms. Rice believes that Timothy Loehmann does not belong on any police force, anywhere, period," Rice family attorney Subodh Chandra said in a statement to WOIO. "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."

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