The former Cleveland police officer who fatally shot Tamir Rice as the 12-year-old played with an airsoft pellet gun in 2014 has a new job with another police department.
Timothy Loehmann, who shot Rice after responding to 911 calls about a “guy with a gun,” has been hired as a part-time officer by the village of Bellaire, in southeastern Ohio, West Virginia’s The Intelligencer reported.
Bellaire Police Chief Richard “Dick” Flanagan said he believes that Loehmann, who was a trainee at the time of the shooting, deserves a second chance.
“He was cleared of any and all wrongdoing,” Flanagan told The Intelligencer of Loehmann. “He was never charged. It’s over and done with.”
Loehmann isn’t Bellaire’s only controversial recent hire. The department brought on Eric Smith, a suspended police chief from Bethesda, Ohio, who is under investigation by the Ohio attorney general’s office for alleged misuse of a statewide computer system.
Though Loehmann was not indicted by a grand jury for Rice’s killing, he was fired following the shooting, not for the shooting itself but for lying about his poor job history as an officer.