Cleveland fires cop who shot Tamir Rice — but not because of the 12-year-old's death

Officer Timothy Loehmann was fired for allegedly providing misinformation on his employment application

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published May 30, 2017 2:23PM (EDT)

This undated photo provided by the family's attorney shows Tamir Rice. (AP Photo/Courtesy Richardson & Kucharski Co., L.P.A.)
This undated photo provided by the family's attorney shows Tamir Rice. (AP Photo/Courtesy Richardson & Kucharski Co., L.P.A.)

One of the Cleveland police officers who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice has been fired for unrelated reasons.

The officer who was terminated, Timothy Loehmann, is alleged to have misinformed the police department about aspects of his employment application, according to a report by the NBC affiliate WKYC. This is the reason that was given for Loehmann's firing, rather than anything related to the Rice shooting.

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Rice was shot when someone called the police claiming they saw someone with a firearm. Rice was in fact playing with a toy gun — and regardless, Ohio allows the "open carry" of firearms.

The other officer involved in the shooting, Frank Garmback, has received a 10-day suspension that begins on Wednesday and will be required to attend additional tactical training. This is similar to the punishment given to the dispatcher who handled the 911 call on Rice, who was suspended for eight days for failing to provide information that Loehmann and Garmback needed when responding to the call.

During the news conference on Tuesday, city officials like Mayor Frank Jackson made it clear that they had undergone an "exhaustive process" in order to determine appropriate disciplinary action for Loehmann and Garmback. They claim that the only rule violated by the officers in the Rice shooting was not notifying communications of their position in the moments prior to the shooting itself.

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor chose not to pursue criminal charges against Loehmann and Garmback.

When video of Loehmann's and Garback's administrative hearings were made public, Garmback insisted that he didn't know Rice was a child when he shot him and Loehmann insisted, "I thought I was going to die."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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