Police Abuse

Police Union Appeals Firing of Cop Who Killed Tamir Rice

The officer was terminated for lying on his job application two years after killing the 12-year-old Rice.

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The Cleveland police union is filing an appeal of the termination of Officer Timothy Loehmann, who two years ago shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice and today was fired for lying on his job application.

After the 2015 shooting, Buzzfeed revealed that Loehmann had not disclosed he was about to be fired for dismal performance when he resigned from his previous position in Independence, Ohio. Cleveland police say they didn't request Loehmann's personnel file from Independence before hiring him. Had they done so, they would have learned that Loehmann had been deemed "unfit for duty" because of his "dismal" firearms performance. (Among other problems, he had become "distracted and weepy" during an exercise at a gun range.)

Like other public employee unions, police guilds produce rules that protect bad actors. Loehmann had been on the force for less than a year before killing Rice. The Cleveland police union has successfully persuaded arbitrers to overturn terminations before. In one infamous 2014 case, the union argued a cop shouldn't have been fired for losing his service weapon during a bar fight because other cops who had done "far worse" had not been dismissed. This time around, it's arguing that Loehmann did not break any department policy.

Rice's mother told reporters today that she's relieved Loehmann has been let go. She added that she hopes "the termination sticks and he isn't brought back after an arbitration hearing."

One way to avoid such bad hires would be to start a police offenders' registry that tracks such problem officers. Unfortunately, police unions and friendly lawmakers have helped create a climate where a police job is seen as a right, not a privilege. The Cleveland police union defended the shooting from the beginning, insisting it was justified because the 12-year-old Rice was "menacing." Other unions jumped in too—the head of the Miami police union tweeted a photo of the slain pre-teen with the caption "act like a thug and you'll be treated like one."

After the shooting, county prosecutor Timothy McGinty recommended, and a grand jury agreed, not to press charges against Loehmann. McGinty was voted out of office a few months later in the Democratic primary. The other officer on the scene when Loehmann killed Rice was suspended for 10 days and ordered to undergo additional training. The union is also appealing that suspension.

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  1. Cleveland police say they didn’t request Loehmann’s personnel file from Independence before hiring him.

    A thorough background check was conducted.

    1. Well, he passed the thorough IQ test.

      1. Does that mean he did check to see if his hand was bigger than his face, or that he didn’t?

        1. Cleveland PD! Lemme see if my hand is bigger than YOUR face!

      2. Right, his IQ is below 100.

        1. Not really that far from the truth. There was an article a few years ago about a court case where a police department refused to hire a guy because his IQ was too high. “You are too smart to work here”.

          1. Police work is mostly boring and smart people quit.

  2. Cleveland police say they didn’t request Loehmann’s personnel file from Independence before hiring him.

    Why would the Cleveland police give a shit about your past?

  3. Rice’s mother told reporters today that she’s relieved Loehmann has been let go. She added that she hopes “the termination sticks and he isn’t brought back after an arbitration hearing.”

    I take it Rice’s mother doesn’t go in for that #BLM rhetoric.

    Right-to-w-ork” laws prohibit unions from collecting dues from members, essentially dampening the power of unions of working people to effectively operate.

    Workers in the global economy and the environment are both at best secondary considerations in global trade agreements. Wages are pulled down internationally by the trade scheme and labor standards are weak with little protection for unionization.

  4. You killed a kid ? Ah! Shit happens. You can keep your badge.

    You wrote something incorrect in your job application ? YOU must be fired.

    1. Or, “this 16 yr old had consensual sex with his 16 yr old girlfriend? Sex registry for life!”

  5. Wait a minute. Why the hell would a prospective employer have access to hr files from my prior employers?

    I am a bit stunned that a guy could be fired for crying during firearms training. How does that happen? Both the crying and the firing are hard to believe.

    And I don’t like the precedent of firing people from future jobs for the reason that a prior employer didn’t quite get around to firing you.

    Was this guy pointing his gun at people while on the range?

  6. It’s good to know you can still be fired for lying on an application. There have to be standards dammit!

  7. All cops should be bonded. If they are sued the bonding company pays. When they can’t get a bond they are out.

  8. This whole thing perfectly illustrates everything that is wrong with the current #BLM hijacking of the police reform debate.

    This is clearly not about race, but that’s front and center.

    But beyond that, this whole thing is a tricky issue. They have a point in that no department policy was broken. He perceived a threat and reacted. He was wrong. And a kid is dead.

    But is it just because he was a bad cop? What of the decision to pull up to within a few feet of the potentially armed person? That seems kinda dumb if you aren’t going to pull up and immediately shoot someone who is an imminent threat.

    This isn’t going to win me any friends, but there needs to be room to screw up. If you put a million police on the streets with guns (we do), some people are going to wind up dead by mistake. So our procedures and training need to take this into account and try to minimize the opportunity for mistakes. But also acknowledge mistakes when they happen – not cover them up or pretend that it was heroic to shoot the unarmed 12 year old.

    Making a split second mistake and shooting a guy brandishing a wallet shouldn’t necessarily be a career ender. But because our current training is to push forward and create conflict at every turn, we demand that split second decisions get made much more often. There are at somewhere between 50 and 200 people being killed every year who don’t need to die, and we’ll never fix the problem as long as we pretend it is all about race.

    1. Nah, fuck all that. You screw up, you get canned [at least]. Fuck the cop unions, fuck ALL the government unions. You fuck up, you’re done. Out. Wheat from chaff. You’re working on my goddamned tax dollars [haha, I know, like that really means anything, right?], which means if some kid gets shot because you’re a dumbfuck, that means you’re out, and maybe even worse. Don’t like it? Too bad. Don’t go into government! And don’t come bitching to me about the mean streets. I’ve got my own problems; I don’t give a fuck.

      Yeah, mistakes happen, blah blah blah. I get it. Guess what: life’s not fair. It sure as fuck wasn’t fair for Rice, so it shouldn’t be fair to this weepy faggot, either. Fuck him. I hope he gets hit by a bus.

      1. Yeah, I figured that would be a common response. And that’s as much of a problem as the “it is all because racism” response.

        The reason Rice got killed was the decision to drive the vehicle to such a close proximity and jump out just feet away. That created an unnecessary split second decision.

        But nobody is going to look at that, because it is easier to say “he’s a bad cop”.

        The same way Jose Guerreno is dead because someone up the chain decided that it is a good idea to do “knock and announce” raids where a group of armed men bang on the door and yell incoherently for 8 seconds before using a battering ram to take the door down. By taking this approach they ensure that a certain percentage of the time they will be met with an armed homeowner – regardless of his guilt or innocence in any investigation.

        The real problem is putting people in positions to fail. It happens all the time in the workplace. But when some middle manager at Starbucks makes a dumb policy, nobody is carrying a gun and trained to shoot first.

        There are a lot of proper responses to this problem. Reducing the use of no-knock and knock and announce warrants – particularly at odd hours. Changing training, particularly with regard to dealing with mentally ill subjects. Tightening command and control in fluid situations. And many more.

        “keep doing what you are doing but just don’t shoot anybody because you are scum” is a bad policy that gets people killed.

  9. Nice. They get him on a paperwork technicality to skirt the real issue, then bring challenge the technicality when the hubbub has died down.

    I think he wins on the merits for the paperwork technicality. “You didn’t volunteer us every negative circumstance in your work history” hardly seems a reasonable standard.

    1. They said he was fired for lying on his employment application.

      This is always a reason to be able to fire someone, especially in this case where at appears to be extremely relevant to his later screw-up.

  10. It is shocking to read other sites – The Federalist most prominently – where Nut-Cons continue to defend his cracker-assed pig.

  11. ”Making a split second mistake and shooting a guy brandishing a wallet shouldn’t necessarily be a career ender.”

    Uh, yes, it should. Retard.

    1. LOL. No shit. I mean, people get axed for MUCH less than that, but you can’t even fire some weepy pig for killing a kid in a fucking PARK for playing with a toy gun?! This country’s gone full retard, no doubt about it…

      1. Yeah, it is this response that means that nobody is going to listen.

        And nothing will change.

        If you guys think the problem with police shooting unarmed people is “a few bad cops”, you are not part of the solution. There are plenty of bad cops. Lots and lots of them that can’t handle split second decisions.

        Hiring better people would be great.

        But beyond that, the thing that is getting people shot is the training and procedures we use. They are trained to shoot at “furtive movements” and “he was reaching for his waistband” because “you gotta go home at the end of the shift”. This is where the problem begins. Not at the moment that some cop on the side of the road has to decide if some guy is reaching for his wallet or a gun.

        It is really simple. If you put a million armed people on the street with an aggressive stance and “shoot first if you perceive any threat” training, those people are going to make mistakes and shoot the wrong people. It cannot be avoided at that point.

        “He’s a scumbag” as an analysis means that nobody looks at why that guy was standing 12 feet away from a kid with a toy gun, pointing a real gun at him and having to decide what to do next. You plop 100 guys in that position and you are playing Russian Roulette. Someone is going to pull that trigger. So if you want to cut down on the number of unjustified shootings, look at the real problem and figure out how to quit putting guys in that position.

  12. The other officer on the scene when Loehmann killed Rice was suspended for 10 days and ordered to undergo additional training.

    So, let me get this straight. The officer driving the car that day got a 10 days suspension because he parked the car too close to Rice, but the officer who actually shot Rice got nothing. Makes perfect sense, just like every other aspect of this case.

  13. You can’t spell POLICE without COP LIE.

  14. There’s a suggestion to require police officers to have malpractice insurance to cover their city in case an officer’s misconduct results in the city [its taxpayers] needing to pay damages. see:

    http://www.chicagoreporter.com…..nneapolis/

    This would mean that the private sector would get involved in rating police officers on their job performance, and incompetent police officers would cost more to hire. Ostensibly, this seems to have major benefits…

  15. There’s a suggestion that cities could purchase malpractice insurance for its police officers in case an officer’s misconduct results in the city [its taxpayers] needing to pay damages. see:

    http://www.chicagoreporter.com…..nneapolis/

    This would mean that the private sector would get involved in rating police officers on their job performance, and incompetent police officers would cost more to hire. Ostensibly, this seems to have major benefits…

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