Timothy Loehmann, the Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice on Nov. 22, 2014, has withdrawn his application to the Bellaire Police Department in Bellaire, Ohio.
Earlier this month, Bellaire’s Police Chief Dick Flanagan defended hiring Loehmann, even though the uniformed child killer had been deemed “unfit for duty” before working with the Cleveland police—and before he killed a 12-year-old child holding a pellet gun in a park.
The justified backlash was swift.
At a Wednesday press conference, Samaria Rice, Tamir’s mother, said she was “devastated” to hear that Loehmann was set to be an officer again, noting, “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.”
Flanagan, who was clear that he did not appreciate the criticism his department has received in the past month, accepted Loehmann’s withdrawal; he also painted the man who gunned down a child in under 2 seconds as the victim.
“I have accepted his withdrawal from the Bellaire police department,” Flanagan said in a statement to 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.”
Rice, who had planned to go to Bellaire in protest of Loehmann’s hiring, remains unwavering, vowing that, “As long as I’m living,” the man who killed her baby would never work as a police officer again.