CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cleveland police officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice was a rookie on the force. Tamir was shot after police received reports of a person waving a gun outside Cudell Recreation Center on the west side of Cleveland.
Surveillance video revealed Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Tamir less than two seconds of officers Loehmann and Frank Garmback arriving on scene.
Officer Loehmann had just joined the force that year. He was sworn into the Cleveland Police Department August 2014. The shooting happened Nov. 22, 2014.
Prior to joining CPD, the 26-year-old was a police officer with the Independence Police Department.
The City of Cleveland confirmed that detectives did not review Officer Loehmann's personnel file from the Independence Police Department during Loehmann's application process.
Instead, during Loehmann's background check, detectives interviewed the Human Resources Director at Independence, and there were no disciplinary items or actions brought to their attention. They said that Officer Loehmann had aspirations of working for a larger police department, and that was the reason for his resignation.
However, according to Loehmann's personnel file for Independence Police, he told the city he was leaving for "personal reasons." Loehmann worked there for five months before resigning and working for a security company until his appointment with Cleveland Police.
Loehmann said he desired a position with the Independence Police, calling it a "stable job" on his application. A letter in his file said Loehmann was "distracted and weepy" and couldn't follow orders during firearms training.
Loehmann's supervisor in Independence also wrote of other instances, one in which he left a gun in locker unsecured. The file also contained his supervisor generally questioned his maturity. In fact his bosses had already started the process of removing him from the force when he resigned. With that said, Loehmann's Independence Police personnel file said he is "eligible for rehire."
The Cleveland Police Department said they do not have a written policy mandating a review of an applicant's previous employer personnel file. But in the future, the city said that policy has been amended to request a personnel file be obtained.