The police officer responsible for the November 22 shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice was found “emotionally unstable” and “unfit for duty” in his previous job, reports NBC News.
Officer Timothy Loehmann, 26, shot Rice in a Cleveland park after 911 operators received a call saying a “guy” was waving a gun around. Video footage shows Loehmann arriving at the park and immediately firing his weapon at the boy, killing him. Rice was holding a toy gun.
Loehmann joined the Cleveland Police Department last May. Records show that he resigned from his previous job at a smaller police department in Independence, Ohio, in 2012, shortly after a supervisor deemed him unfit.
“Ptl. Loehmann’s inability to perform basic functions as instructed, and his inability to emotionally function because of a personal situation at home with an on and off again girlfriend leads one to believe that he would not be able to substantially cope, or make good decisions, during or resulting from any other stressful situation,” Deputy Chief Jim Polak wrote in the report.
During his firearm training, Loehmann demonstrated a “dangerous loss of composure,” “lacked the maturity,” was caught lying, and, at one point, fell asleep, according to Polak. He described Loehmann as “weepy” and “distracted,” and said that his firearm handling abilities were “dismal.” After one episode, Loehmann’s supervisors contacted his parents because they were concerned about his mental health. The Cleveland Police Department said that they never reviewed the memo, reports Cleveland.com.
Loehmann is currently under investigation by the police department. He was suspended following the shooting, but has been reinstated on non-patrol duty.