Police Abuse

Cop Who Killed Tamir Rice Was Previously Kicked off Force for 'Dismal' Gun Performance, Emotional Instability


Tamir Rice

Timothy Loehmann, the Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice within two seconds of encountering the boy, was deemed "unfit for duty" while serving on another police force. Supervisors specifically cited his "dismal" handgun performance and emotional instability when they forced him to resign in December 2012.

Loehmann was previously employed by the City of Independence. During a training exercise at a gun range, he became "distracted and weepy," according to information obtained by The Guardian:

Officer Timothy Loehmann, who killed Tamir Rice on 22 November, was specifically faulted for breaking down emotionally while handling a live gun. During a training episode at a firing range, Loehmann was reported to be "distracted and weepy" and incommunicative. "His handgun performance was dismal," deputy chief Jim Polak of the Independence, Ohio, police department wrote in an internal memo.

The memo concludes with a recommendation that Loehmann be "released from the employment of the City of Independence". Less than a week later, on 3 December 2012, Loehmann resigned.

Loehmann was hired by Cleveland PD in March of this year. It isn't clear whether the department knew about his previous struggles. If it didn't, then apparently his background check was neglected. If it did—and hired him anyway—that's even more damning.

Rice was killed while playing with a fake gun at the park. The toy's orange cap had been removed, rendering it impossible to distinguish from a real gun. Even so, the 911 caller who alerted the authorities told them that the boy he spied playing with a weapon was probably carrying a fake. It's not clear whether Loehmann was given that information; the police union has said that he wasn't.

Regardless, video surveillance shows Loehmann drive up to Rice and kill him within two seconds.

The shooting is an outrage, even if Loehmann had an impeccable record. But this latest news does make it worse, and shows that the department deserves some blame.

NEXT: NYPD Chief Bratton Uses Unfortunate Metaphor of 'Breathing Room' to Describe How Cops Could Handle Garner Protests

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    1. Nothing to protest here, nope

      1. You need to be a complete menace to your community to get that kind of community support. Alas, be must have been a good kid. Tragic.

    2. I can’t even come up with any gallows humor to deal with the horror of that video.

      Tell me, if a non-cop drove up and, within two seconds, shot a child who he believed with all his heart was brandishing a genuine firearm, would the non-cop get any benefit of any doubt?

      Of course not. He’d be lucky not to be lynched while awaiting his murder trial.

      Soldiers and Marines who are being actively fired upon by terrorists are on a shorter leash than this cop was. What the fucking fuck.

  1. Well, he seems to have improved his handgun performance, anyway.

    1. Maybe the paper target at the firing range was an unarmed, pregnant white woman. It could be that the Independence PD is full of sick fucks.

  2. Ay, oh, way to go Ohio Cleveland….

    /My City Was Gone

    1. That might be my favorite Pretenders song. Though Rush has done his absolute best to ruin it for me.

      1. Brass In Pocket is a nearly perfect record.

        1. Brass is the clear winner. My City is good, but whiny.

          Ol’ Chrissie is besties with Mayor for Life Don Plusquellic. Her vegan restaurant still failed miserably.

  3. I wish I could say this kind of thing was surprising. And given what police officers can do and then still get another job elsewhere, why is it surprising to anybody that somebody this unfit could get a police job elsewhere?

    Unlike what I’ve said about the Garner case though… I’m actually thinking that there HAS to be an indictment in this one. I can’t think of a way a prosecutor could justify it. Though I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I’m wrong.

    1. “And given what police officers can do and then still get another job elsewhere…”

      It’s as if it’s a “brotherhood” or something.

    2. The DA will report that marijuana was found in the thugs body, so it was a good shoot.

      End of story.

  4. With the unemployment rate being what it is, are they really that desperate to hire ex-cops with problems? I doubt that 7-11 would have hired someone with emotional problems and poor gun skills.

    (sorry — I don’t mean to offend. Lord knows that your average 7-11 clerk does a great job – and something that’s needed and doesn’t depend on tax dollars, to boot)

    1. Also, re a 7-11 clerk. That is a way more dangerous job than being a cop. Especially if we’re talking night clerk.

  5. He had no choice.




    Ya buncha bullies! What would you know about crackerjack police work?

    1. Dunphy’s gone on 2.6 billion calls in his career and has never once seen a toy gun. Good shot. Kid was asking for it.

      h2h. smooches. IDDQD. IDKFA. IDSPISPOPD.

      1. In the cops defense, the kid was black so if those cops didnt shoot him, some others would have.

  6. Too emotionally unstable, even for the police department.

    This is why I don’t watch Monty Python anymore. Documentaries get boring after the first viewing.

  7. Hothead in Cleveland

  8. It seems that when these shootings happen the cops like to hype irrelevant details to confuse things.

    Brown got the ‘oh head marijuana in his system!’

    This kid gets the ‘oh he didn’t have the orange safety cap on his toy! This is exactly what those are there to prevent!’

    Except, as we saw, even if the toy had had that safety cap it would have made no difference. If the kid was reaching for it in his waistband (as is the cop’s *current* story) the officer would not have seen the cap anyway.

    1. My favorite are the disingenuous twats parroting, “If he had only listened to the officer’s instructions, we wouldn’t be here now.”

      Really? Contempt of cop, or even just questioning their orders, is punishable by death? Fuck you. I hope you get hoisted on that retard, real soon now.

      1. And never mind the whole “OBEY!” argument in this case. Two seconds is not even time to assess the situation and issue instructions. It is, however, enough time to murder somebody in cold blood.

        1. Well, at least he got two whole seconds to comply. John Crawford was shot nine-tenths of a second after the police “warned” him.

      2. I gotta say, that’s a dumb remark. Shooting someone who defies instructions to, say, lower a weapon is not a punishment for not following police orders, it’s a consequence of it.

        If you drank bleach and died, could it be said you were “unfairly punished” for not reading the label?

  9. If he wasn’t told the gun is fake, then the question is whether the kid made any motion for the alleged gun as he approached the car. The video lacked audio, so I couldn’t tell if the cop warned the kid to drop his gun.

    1. Thank goodness someone doesn’t believe this little thug’s story. Good shoot!


        1. Hm. That may be too subtle for the morons. Fuck the pigs and fuck XM.

          1. We need a cop apologist bingo card. We could make “The prep didn’t follow orders” the free square.

            1. If he’d just done what he was told he’d still be alive! BINGO!

              1. Not so fast, we’re playing BLACK OUT of course. Gotta fill the whole card.

    2. I couldn’t tell if the cop warned the kid to drop his gun.

      Yes, in the fraction of a second between opening the door and shooting the kid, I’m sure the 12 year old did a bang-up job of processing and following the pig’s orders.

    3. XM, your point ignores that there was no reason for the cops to come barreling down on the kid, thus putting the cop in a position where he (allegedly) feared for his safety. If someone, especially a 12 year old kid, is just sitting around with a gun, fake or not, the proper response is to engage them from a safe position and establish communication so that you can assess if they pose any kind of threat. You don’t scare the shit out of them and then kill them if they flinch.

  10. was specifically faulted for breaking down emotionally while handling a live gun.

    I didn’t see him breaking down emotionally after shooting Rice. He seemed very calm. We should be glad he got the practice, er, help he needed.

    1. Stop it, you’re killing me..

  11. My favorite line:

    The two decided to send Loehmann home for the day and call his parents because they were concerned for his well-being. The three met the next day.

    Sent home, parents called and parent/teacher conference the next day. Sounds like this 12-year-old was killed by an 8-year-old.

  12. Fuckfuckfuckfuck.

  13. This reminds me of my Jr. High principal who got caught embezzling from the gifted education trip fund. They basically gave him the option to resign and in exchange the school board wrote him a very nice referral letter. Very few people ever knew what really happened, they were all surprised that him and his family suddenly up and left the area after living here their entire lives. Last I heard he was also “let go” from another school about five years later and relocated once again. Union protected government jobs is where it’s at, I can’t imagine the number of bad actors that get passed around to become somebody else’s problem… all out of the publics view.

    1. There was some other organization that shuffled around criminals rather than getting rid of them or turning them over to the police, but I can’t think of who it was…

      1. That’s no way to talk about Epi’s proud wop family.

        1. Epi’s dad is the Pope? It’s all starting to make sense.

            1. Mind. Blown.

              1. Epi is a Borgia? Makes sense to me.

  14. Bend over, Warty. You and everybody else in Cleveland are going to get roto-rootered in a big way over this.

    1. Please. The city only had to pay $3 million for shooting those two adult negroes 137 times or whatever. Now, I don’t remember exactly how this works from my nonlinear negro shooting systems class, but a larval negro shot only once is worth, what, $50,000 tops?

      1. The proper term is negrite. Sheesh!

        1. No, that’s a negro that collides from the earth, you moron. Didn’t you ever take a science class?

          1. Then what the hell are negroids?

            1. That’s the term for the debris left behind when a negro burns up in the earth’s atmosphere. Or, as is more common, is murdered by the police.

              1. There’s no need to turn to photoshop. See?

        2. I’ve been trying to promote the word Ebonite as the new PC term for people with kinky hair…not having much success, but I’ll keep trying.

          1. It’s already taken. Ebonite is that black synthetic rubber that woodwind mouthpieces are made of.

            1. Like words can’t be repurposed. Take the word Liberal, for example.

              1. Yeah,literally

                1. I see what you did there. Kudos.

    2. Bend over, Warty.

      Like he’s never heard that phrase in his life.

      1. But it usually means that he’s the one getting paid.

  15. I can’t think of who it was…

    The United Nations?

    1. No, it was some org with real influence.

      1. American Library Association?

  16. a larval negro shot only once is worth, what, $50,000 tops?

    I was unaware of the “per bullet” rate. Silly me.

  17. Yes, in the fraction of a second between opening the door and shooting the kid, I’m sure the 12 year old did a bang-up job of processing and following the pig’s orders.

    “Hey, cool! Five Oh are ROLLIN’! I wonder who… gurgle, gurgle.”

    1. I think it was here on Reason that I read that the elapsed time of the encounter was 2 seconds, and the cop claims he ordered the kid to drop it 3 times.

      I’ve watched “Cops” enough to know that they usually scream their orders in these situations at the top of their lungs. What are the chances the kid even understood what was being yelled?


        1. If he did understand the ‘drop it’ and the bb gun was in his waist band what we he then have to do to comply?

        2. Probably more like


        3. From the John Crawford shooting video: GET ON THE GROUND! GET ON BANG BANG THE GROUND!

  18. What are the chances the kid even understood what was being yelled?

    Fucking ZILCH, would be my guess.

    1. What are the chances the kid even understood what was being yelled?

      “Aw, shit. I forgot about rolling down the window *again*.”

      1. Sonofabitch. And even tried to post that without threading.


  19. Independence released Loehmann’s personnel file Wednesday, the day after Cleveland police released files for him and his partner during the shooting.

    Leaked out or released as a colossal FUCK YOU from Independence to Cleveland?

    1. The latter. The suburbs tend to take pleasure in making Cleveland look bad.

  20. It is unclear if Cleveland officials saw the Independence files before Loehmann was hired in Cleveland. A message left for Cleveland police spokesman Sgt. Ali Pillow was not immediately returned.

    Pillow is frantically checking before responding to see if there’s any evidence they saw and ignored the documented red flags on their hire.

    1. On TV it was reported that the CLE PD did not review his records.

  21. “I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct these deficiencies.”

    HO. LEE. FUCK.

    1. Turns out relocating him to a more urban police force wasn’t, either.

  22. Yeah, even if it looked like a gun you can’t give an unstable cop that trigger happy much credit.

  23. I’m not sure that this information makes things “worse,” really. In fact, I’d argue that it makes the situation easier to comprehend. It struck me as particularly odd that a cop would respond as he did in this case, and now his behavior makes perfect sense. Of course, it means that someone else is at least partly responsible for making bad hiring decisions or by not performing an adequate background check. But this information takes the story from incomprehensible to comprehensible. It also clears up a few things–I wondered, for instance, if the boy had done something to set the cop off so immediately (not that it would have justified the shooting). Now we know the kid was probably doomed from the moment the cops got the call. Really, this offers an extra dose of clarity, and that is undoubtedly a good thing.

  24. Why does the VRWC keep hiring these dysfunctional cops….
    Oh, wait….Never mind.

  25. “I only hang out with 73-year-old priests.”

    Well, I think we’ve cut to the heart of the matter right there!

  26. Why are British papers so frequently scooping U.S. papers on U.S. stories? Our mainstream media is a disgrace.

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