By Jessica Schladebeck
A small town in southern Ohio has hired the former Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014.
Timothy Loehmann was one of two part-time officers recently added to the Bellaire Police Department's payroll, Chief Richard Flanagan confirmed to The Times Ledger.
"He was cleared of any and all wrongdoing," Flanagan said. "He was never charged. It's over and done with."
Rice's mother, Samira, was left rattled by the news and condemned the decision to hire Loehmann as a law enforcement officer in any capacity.
"Ms. Rice believes that Timothy Loehmann does not belong on any police force, anywhere, period," her lawyer said in a statement to Cleveland.com. "Someone with his record should not be subjected upon the citizenry. But she does hope this means he will not ever return to Cleveland."
Loehmann and his partner, Frank Garmback, were responding to a 911 call on Nov. 14, 2014 when they encountered Rice outside the Cudell Recreation Center. A caller had reported someone pointing a gun at people in the area -- they said the weapon looked fake, but that information was never passed on to the officers.
When they spotted the boy, Garmback drove his police vehicle onto the grass and Loehmann fatally shot Rice almost instantly. The 12-year-old had been playing with a pellet gun at the time.
He died at the hospital the next morning.
Loehmann never faced charges for the shooting, but he was fired from the Cleveland Police Department in May 2017 for lying on his job application. The officer had failed to disclose he'd been dismissed from the Independence Police Department after they deemed him unfit for duty.
His former chief in 2012 described Loehmann as "weepy" and "distracted" during weapons training, adding that he "could not follow simple directions."
"I do not believe time, nor training will be able to change or correct these deficiencies," he wrote in Loehmann's personnel file.
Garmback was suspended for 10 days, which was later downgraded to five.
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