CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Nearly two-and-a-half years after the shooting of Tamir Rice, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams just disciplined two city workers for their roles in deadly incident.
Patrol Officer William Cunningham will be suspended without pay, for two days, for working unapproved secondary employment at the Cudell Rec Center and for submitting an untruthful report in connection with a Use of Deadly Force investigation.
Dispatcher Constance Hollinger will serve an eight-day suspension. Investigators found Hollinger failed to tell the responding officers that the 911 caller said the gun is "probably fake" and suspect is "probably a juvenile".
Discipline for Officer Frank Garmback, who was driving the patrol car that pulled up to the scene, and Officer Timothy Loehmann, who fired the fatal shots, has not yet been decided upon yet.
Rice, 12, was shot and killed November 22, 2014 by Cleveland police officers who were called to the scene after reports of a man with a gun. Rice was found to be carrying an airsoft pistol.
STATEMENT FROM CLEVELAND POLICE UNION PRESIDENT STEVE LOOMIS:
As with all disciplinary action taken against our members, we are reviewing the city's disciplinary decision with our members and our attorneys to determine the best course of action to be taken, if any.
STATEMENT FROM RICE FAMILY LAWYER SUBODH CHANDRA:
"Unacceptable." That is how Samaria Rice, the bereaved mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, described the mere eight-day suspension Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams gave Constance Hollinger, a police dispatcher, for Hollinger's negligence resulting in Tamir's death from a police shooting on November 22, 2014. Subodh Chandra, Ms. Rice's Cleveland-based counsel, added, "Eight days for gross negligence resulting in the death of a 12-year-old boy. How pathetic is that?" Hollinger was charged administratively for having failed to convey a 9/11 caller's information that Tamir was "probably a juvenile" and that his toy gun was "probably a fake." Williams conducted a closed-door hearing February 22, 2017 to which Samaria Rice was not invited and in which she thus had no voice. With no apparent sense of irony or self-awareness, Chief Williams wrote in boilerplate at the bottom of his suspension letter: "It is the Division's earnest desire that this letter will serve as a deterrent against future acts of this nature." The letter states that the discipline letter will only be in Hollinger's file for two years. Chandra added, "Fat chance of this absurd discipline deterring anyone from anything other than continued incompetence and indifference. That the dispatcher still has her job when a child is dead speaks volumes about accountability in Cleveland."