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Officer Who Shot 12 Year-old Tamir Rice was Found Unfit in Previous Police Job

December 5, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Officer Who Shot 12 Year-old Tamir Rice was Found Unfit in Previous Police Job Image courtesy of buzzfeed.com

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The Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice last month had resigned from a previous small-town police department when he was analyzed as being too emotionally unstable and unfit for duty, especially in his handling of firearms.

In a surveillance Video released by the Cleveland police  Department, Officer Timothy A. Loehmann, 26, is seen immediately shooting Tamir Rice seconds after he exited his police vehicle on Nov. 22.

Image courtesy of issuehawk.com

Image courtesy of issuehawk.com

Investigators claim Tamir was reaching into his waistband for a weapon, which turned out to be a toy pellet gun.

A prosecutor will be presenting the shooting incident to a grand jury to decide if an indictment is warranted.

In the wake of the killing of an unarmed man in Ferguson and the chokehold death of an African American man in New York,  the shooting death of the 12 year-old has made national headlines, leading to demonstrations nationwide.

Loehmann has been on the force since May, police records indicate that in the suburb of Independence show that he quit a $42,000-a-year job as a patrolman in training in December 2012, after five months.

In  November of 2012, a meme by Deputy Chief Jim Polak recommended that Loehmann be dismissed.

He questioned Loehmann’s ability to follow instructions and to make good decisions in stressful situations.

He cited a report from a firearms instructor who said Loehmann showed up for training “distracted,” “weepy” and unable to “communicate clear thoughts,” as a result of which “his handgun performance was dismal.”

The report described Loehmann as in an “emotional meltdown.” It was attributed in part to personal problems with an on-again-off-again girlfriend:

Some of the comments made by Ptl. Loehmann during this discourse were to the effect of, ” I should have gone to NY”, “maybe I should quit”,”I have no friends” , “I only hang out with 73 yr old priests”, “I have cried every day for 4 months about this girl.”

The deputy chief questioned Loehmann’s decision-making:

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.

Polak concluded that Loehmann had shown a “dangerous loss of composure” during live range training and lacked the maturity to be on the force.

“I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct the deficiencies,” he wrote on Nov. 29. Four days later, Loehmann resigned.

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