Timothy Loehmann, the police officer who shot and killed Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black boy, in Cleveland, Ohio nearly eight years ago, was sworn in as the Tioga Borough Police Officer in Tioga, Pennsylvania.
Loehmann was sworn in at the July 5, 2022 Borough meeting, an announcement that reignited anger about the killing, which has been cited as one of several that inspired the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
According to Tioga Mayor David Wilcox, the town council did not allow him to see Loehmann’s resume when they interviewed him. Wilcox said he was not involved in the hiring process.
Council President Steve Hazlett announced that Loehmann had been hired via a post on Facebook.
A photograph he posted shows Loehmann being sworn in.
Loehmann shot and killed Rice on November 22, 2014 after he and his partner Frank Garmback responded to a police dispatch call regarding a male who had a gun. A caller reported that a male was pointing "a pistol" at random people at the Cudell Recreation Center, a park in the City of Cleveland's Public Works Department.
Although the caller told the police that the pistol was "probably fake," and that the "male" in question is probably a juvenile," it was later found that dispatchers did not relay this information to Loehmann or Garmback.
Both officers said that they saw Rice reaching for his waistband for what was later identified as a toy pellet gun after being told to "show me your hands," but video of the shooting shows that Loehmann immediately jumped out of the car and shot Rice from a distance of less than 10 feet.
A grand jury did not indict Loehmann, a decision that sparked considerable protest both in Ohio and other states. The Department of Justice (DOJ) declined to bring federal charges against him, a decision it reaffirmed earlier this year.
In the aftermath of the shooting it was revealed that Loehmann, in his previous job as a police officer in the Cleveland suburb of Independence, Ohio, had been deemed an emotionally unstable recruit and unfit for duty.
Loehmann was fired from his job in 2017 after investigators determined that he had witthheld this information on his application to join the Cleveland Police Department. Last year, the Ohio Supreme Court denied his bid to get his job back.
The news that Loehmann had been hired to work as a police officer again generated outrage online
The news that Loehmann had been hired to work as an officer in another town angered Samaria Rice, who criticized Tioga officials for giving a second chance to the man who killed her son.
Samaria Rice said Loehmann's hiring is a sign that the "system is broken because police reform is actually not working," adding that Loehmann is "a bad apple for anybody's police department across the country."