Fired Cleveland officer who shot, killed Tamir Rice has new job in law enforcement

Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, said it’s “pathetic, it’s pitiful, it’s a shame,” after learning about Loehmann’s new job from 19 News
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 11:40 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2022 at 8:13 AM EDT

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Nearly eight years after the tragic police shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, the Cleveland Police officer who pulled the trigger has a new job, with a different police force.

The news first surfaced on Wednesday on social media, and 19 News has confirmed that Timothy Loehmann has taken a new oath to protect, serve and police in Tioga Borough, a small town 300 miles away in rural Pennsylvania.

Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, said it’s “pathetic, it’s pitiful, it’s a shame,” after learning about Loehmann’s new job from 19 News.

“The system is broken, because police reform is actually not working. You would hire someone knowing he has murdered a 12-year-old child. How dare you. How dare you do it,” Rice stated.

Rice questions how anyone could give Loehmann a badge and gun again after a family expert ruled her son’s hand were in his pockets, he wasn’t reaching for anything, and he was playing with an airsoft gun at Cuddell Park that day, the orange tip to show it’s a toy had been removed.

Loehmann and the other officer were never charged with any criminal wrongdoing in Tamir’s death.

But, he was fired years later from the Cleveland Police Department for providing false information on his job application.

The City of Cleveland settled a lawsuit with the Rice Family for $6 million.

“They should definitely reconsider and not hire him. He is a bad apple for anybody’s police department across the country,” Samaria Rice told 19 News.

Rice’s outrage and disgust was shared by one person after another in Loehmann’s new community after a social media post of him taking the oath of office was shared by Tioga Borough’s President of City Council Steve Hazlett.

In one social media post a woman wrote, “If this is the same guy who killed Tamir Rice, he doesn’t belong here. He’s a danger to the community. Who else’s child has to die before he’s locked up.”

David Wilcox, Tioga Borough’s Mayor responded to concerns on social media pages saying: “This has nothing to do with me. Council hires, fires and background checks. I literally wasn’t even allowed to take his resume with me the day they interviewed him.”

One woman who spoke out in his defense and included an angry face emoji said, “See people just don’t have respect for the police.”

Loehmann was hired in 2018 by Bellaire, Ohio’s police department, but withdrew his application after Samaria Rice and others vocalized their disgust.

For Tamir Rice’s mother, the timing of Loehmann’s new job couldn’t be worse.

She plans to unveil a $100,000 memorial in her son’s memory and honor on Jan. 16 in the same spot where he lost his life.

Rice said it’s part of her settlement with the City of Cleveland, “I didn’t need to hear no news like this. I’m planning my son’s memorial ceremony over at Cuddell Recreation Center where Timothy Loehmann took his life. The memorial will be placed exactly where the gazebo was, where my daughter was handcuffed and tackled and forced to watch her brother die.”

Steve Hazlett, Tioga Borough’s President of Council said Loehmann was hired under his same name, even though there were questions about that on social media.

He was hired as a full-time police officer and will have a six-month probation period.

Hazlett claimed that even though Loehmann took his oath of office, the vetting process for his job continues.

He also said his phone has been ringing off the hook following his social media post about the new hire.

Samaria Rice said, “The system is broken. The police bill of rights needs to be done away with because it’s not working for them. It’s not working for us no way, but it’s not working for them because they break their own rules and protocols. As Americans, we are living in fear of our lives, especially if you’re Black or Brown.”

Rice also wants the public to know memorial to her son is planned for less than two weeks from now on July 16.

She said it will be powerful and will forever stand as a reminder that her young Black son was unarmed and killed by police, “I would encourage folks to go to the Tamir Rice Foundation’s Facebook page to sign up for tickets.”

The Chandra Law Firm, LLC. that represented the Rice Family after Tamir’s death also issued a statement condemning the decision by Tioga, PA officials to hire Timothy Loehmann:

“Tioga officials apparently don’t care whether a police officer was considered mentally unfit for one department, lied on his application to another, rushed upon and slew a child, and then lied about calling out warnings to Tamir -- when his window was rolled up on a winter’s day. Loehmann -- who should never again be entrusted with a badge and gun - is shamelessly determined to inflict himself upon other communities. He’s also determined to hurt the family of Tamir Rice with his antics when he should just go live the rest of his life -- life he deprived Tamir of - in shame. Let’s hope Tioga residents have the good sense to question the poor judgment of their misguided and indifferent officials.

Every time Timothy Loehmann testifies in a criminal case, Tioga officials and prosecutors will be required to provide defendants and defense counsel on Loehmann’s record of lying, which is known as Brady evidence. He’s damaged goods and no community should ever want him responsible for enforcing their laws. Officials who do are betraying the trust of their citizens.”

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