The mother of Tamir Rice is upset that a police officer who shot and killed her 12-year-old son will again avoid charges in the shooting that contributed to the national outcry over minorities dying at the hands of police.
Cleveland officials said Friday that the rookie patrolman will face internal discipline charges over accusations of lying on his police application, but he won’t face an internal review for his use of force. The decision comes about a year after county prosecutors decided against pursuing criminal charges in the 2014 shooting against officer Timothy Loehmann. The U.S. Department of Justice still is reviewing the case.
Loehmann, who is white, fired within seconds of arriving outside a recreation center where the black boy was playing with a replica Airsoft-type gun that shoots nonlethal plastic pellets. Loehmann and his partner had gone to the recreation center after a man called 911 to report that a “guy” was pointing a gun at people. The boy’s mother, Samaria Rice, and her attorney said it’s “disappointing and disheartening” that Loehmann won’t face discipline for his use of force.
She said Loehmann and his partner, Frank Garmback, who was driving the patrol car that skidded to a stop a few feet from Tamir, should be fired. “I think this process has taken entirely too long,” Rice said. The city on Friday said disciplinary hearings will be held over the internal charges recommended against both Loehmann and Garmback. A city spokesman said the officers could face a suspension or be fired. Loehmann was accused of lying on his Cleveland police application and failing to mention problems he had while working for another police department.
Garmback was accused of driving his cruiser too close to Tamir and failing to report the time he arrived at the scene. The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association said Friday that neither officer did anything wrong that day. The union said it is reviewing the disciplinary charges and will prepare appropriate defenses for the officers. It said there would be no comment from the officers.