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On November 22, 2014, in Cleveland, Ohio, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by 26-year-old police officer Timothy Loehmann, after a call was received that a black male at a playground “keeps pulling a gun out of his pants and pointing it at people”.
Tamir was holding a pellet gun and now Loehmann is back on the job with another police department, according to the Times Leader.
In a statement, Bellaire, Ohio’s police Chief Dick Flanagan says he stands by his hire, “The last guy I hired part-time as you know is Tim Loehmann from the Cleveland Police Department who two years ago was involved in a shooting in which a young man had lost his life. He had put his application in several police departments. He also still wants to be a police officer. He’s not quitting on being a police officer. He made a decision two years ago that’s going to stay with him the rest of his life. Like anybody else if you make a mistake, someone’s got to give you a second chance. Give someone an opportunity. There is no worry. I stand behind this officer. He was down here two months ago when he first applied. He told me everything that took place in that incident. I made the phone calls. I talked to the appropriate people. I’ll stand behind this officer, like I will any of my officers.”
After Rice’s shooting, a grand jury declined to indict Loehmann, but he was fired after it was discovered he was previously deemed “unfit for duty.”
Bellaire is a small town about 150 miles outside of Cleveland with a population of 4,000.