Tamir Rice shooting: One officer fired for lying on application, another suspended
DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - City officials and the Cleveland Police Department announced discipline Tuesday for two officers involved in the 2014 shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
Officer Timothy Loehmann will be fired immediately and Officer Frank Garmback will serve a 10-day suspension.
Tamir was shot and killed by Loehmann outside the Cudell Recreation Center on Nov. 22, 2014. According to a report by the Cleveland Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit, Loehmann shooting Tamir was considered "reasonable and within guidelines," and that Loehmann was in fear for his and Garmback's lives. The report states that Tamir Rice "walked toward the path of the zone car and, as the zone car came to a stop in front of him, raised his shirt with one hand and began drawing the gun from his pants with the other."
Loehmann was on probation at the time of the fatal shooting, and was fired Tuesday as a result of lying on his application to become a Cleveland police officer.
His termination letter, dated May 30, 2017, states that Loehmann didn't tell Cleveland police that while he was in Independence, that department determined he "failed to secure firearm," was "insubordinate and untruthful to a superior officer," and that Loehmann was "emotional," "immature," and possessed an "inability to emotionally function."
Chief Calvin Williams said Tuesday that the department has since changed how it hires police officers.
"The process now is to make sure that we actually view and read through any personnel file for any former or current law enforcement officer or corrections officer or people in those fields, but we also try to get the employment history of all applicants, whether they're police officers or former police officers or not, just to make sure we know everything that's in the background of the candidate for the division of police," said Williams.
He said This incident wasn't the only reason for a change but it was definitely a catalyst to make the process go faster.
Garmback was driving the police car the day Tamir was fatally shot. He was also Loehmann's training officer. He was suspended for 10 days without pay, starting Wednesday.
According to a disciplinary letter dated, May 30, 2017, Garmback was disciplined because he should have stopped the car when it reached Cudell Park, that he should not have driven up so close to Tamir, and that he did not alert dispatch when they arrived at the park.
The letter states: "No one knew where you were or what you were doing, and you did not know where anyone else was or what they were doing, until after
the shooting occurred."
Cleveland 19 asked Williams to respond to critics who may say the punishment doesn't fit what happened.
"Well, there's a 12-year-old kid dead, so, I mean, people on both sides are going to say it wasn't enough it was too much we have to go through our process we have to be fair and objective to everybody involved in the process and we have to make sure that people understand we will continue to be fair and objective," said Williams.
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