The ex-Cleveland cop who killed Tamir Rice quit his new job and backed out of an opportunity to serve as a police officer in Bellaire, Ohio after widespread criticism, WTRF reports.
Timothy Loehmann was recently hired by the Bellaire, Ohio police department four years after the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Rice. But the hiring was met with intense scrutiny and criticism.
Some of the most intense pressure against hiring Loehmann came from the boy’s mother, Samaria Rice, who had planned to go to Bellaire, on Ohio’s West Virginia border, to address the issue.
“I plan to go down to Bellaire to have a conversation with that police department and say, ‘You guys are making a big mistake,’ ” Rice said earlier this week.
Rice was killed in Nov. 2014 when Loehmann and Officer Frank Garmback received a call about a suspect with a gun in a park. The officers approached Rice in their vehicle and shot him almost instantly, only to discover he had a toy gun. A grand jury later decided not to indict the officers.
Bellaire Police chief Dick Flanagan hired Loehmann despite receiving widespread backlash, but now says he understands why he is withdrawing his application.
“I have accepted his withdrawal from the Bellaire police department,” Flanagan said in a statement to NBC affiliate WKYC3. “The pressures of all of this. He’s been through enough the last couple years. He cared about the community here. He didn’t want no protests, no violence, nothing of that nature.”
On Wednesday, Rice’s mother Samaria, joined by members of Black Lives Matter, said it was a collective effort and “thousands” called the department to protest Loehmann’s hiring.
“It feels like a personal attack on our family at the hands of the Bellaire Police Department. it is also putting the safety of innocent people at risk,” Samaria Rice said.
“As of this afternoon, Timothy Loehmann has withdrawn his application in Bellaire,” she said. “Hopefully, he will not be hired as a police officer by any other state.”