The former Cleveland police officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice has been hired by a police department in a small Ohio village.
The Times Leader reports Bellaire’s police chief confirmed Friday he hired Timothy Loehmann as a part-time officer.
Richard Flanagan said Loehmann was never charged in Tamir’s death and deserves a second chance.
Bellaire is a village of about 4,000 along the Ohio River, more than 150 miles (241 kilometers) south of Cleveland.
Rice was pointing, what was later found to be a pellet gun, at individuals in a park that prompted a 911 call. When police arrived, he turned the gun on responding officers.
A grand jury declined to indict Loehmann, who was a probationary officer at the time.
Travis Yates is the Founder of the Courageous Leadership Institute and he calls the opportunity for Loehmann an important aspect of what leaders should be doing.
“The Tamir Rice incident was tragic and it was unfortunate but it was not the fault of these responding officers,” Yates told us. Citing a media and political frenzy, Yates said that there is no reason why Officer Loehmann should not have an opportunity to be a police officer.
“Despite what the media and politicians wanted others to think, the Rice shooting was justified and that is not my opinion. It happens to be the opinion of the Grand Jury and Department of Justice,” Yates said.
Yates told us that we may never know why Rice was pointing a replica gun at citizens and officers that night but to blame police officers for those actions is irresponsible.
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