Cleveland officials drove to Independence, Oh., to gather information about hiring the officer who eventually shot Tamir Rice, but never looked at his personnel file, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Police spokesman Sgt. Ali Pillow said officers asked Independence police about Timothy Loehmann before hiring him in March, but police there referred them to the human resources department. That department told them Loehmann had no disciplinary actions taken against him.
The file contained reports from a top police official who questioned Loehmann’s ability to handle the duties of a police officer after an emotional breakdown during firearms training and other incidents that caused concern for his superiors. They decided they wanted to release Loehmann from the department but allowed him to resign. Loehmann fatally shot the 12-year-old boy on Nov. 22 less than two seconds after he responded to a complaint about Tamir waving a gun that turned out to be fake. Cleveland police yesterday amended their written policy on reviewing public personnel files for someone trying to get hired.