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Suburban Police Had Considered Releasing Officer Who Later Shot Tamir Rice

Neighbors and activists set up a memorial to Tamir Rice in the park where an officer shot him. (Nick Castele/ideastream)
Neighbors and activists set up a memorial to Tamir Rice in the park where an officer shot him. (Nick Castele/ideastream)

Timothy Loehmann took a job with the Independence police in July 2012.

In a personnel report from the city, a supervisor flagged several incidents he said taken alone would not cause much alarm, but taken together, showed a pattern of not following instructions.

Among the examples cited in the file: Loehmann became "distracted and weepy" at a gun range, performing poorly during firearms training. He was then sent home.

He also stored his gun in an unlocked locker, against protocol, the report notes. And when told to sit in the dispatch room as part of training, the report says he left without permission, but initially told supervisors he had been allowed to leave.

Supervisors recommended that he be released. Loehmann resigned several days later, after about five months on the force.

Cleveland police did not review Loehmann's personnel file before hiring him, division spokesman Sgt. Ali Pillow wrote in an email late Wednesday. Police asked Independence about Loehmann's background, but were told only that he had no disciplinary record and had resigned, Pillow wrote.

"While our policy does not require obtaining a personnel file prior to employment," Pillow wrote, "the Cleveland Division of Police has amended our policies to request a personnel file from previous employers."

In an interview, Cleveland police union president Jeffrey Follmer maintained Loehmann had a good record after being hired this year as a Cleveland cop -- both at police academy and on the street.

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.