CLEVELAND (AP) - A rookie police officer who fatally shot a 12-year-old Cleveland boy carrying a pellet gun is being investigated by a law enforcement agency that passed on hiring the officer.
The city last week handed over an investigation into the Nov. 22 shooting of Tamir Rice to the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department. The county prosecutor is expected to eventually present evidence to a grand jury to determine if criminal charges should be filed against Timothy Loehmann, who shot Tamir within two seconds of a patrol car stopping near the boy outside a Cleveland recreation center.
Loehmann and partner Frank Garmback, who was driving the patrol car that afternoon, were responding to a radio call about someone waving a gun. Tamir was carrying an airsoft gun that looked like a real firearm but shot nonlethal plastic pellets.
Loehmann had applied to become a county sheriff’s deputy in September 2013 but was not hired. A county spokesman said he had no information about why Loehmann wasn’t hired.
Northeast Ohio Media Group has reported that Loehmann also unsuccessfully applied to become a police officer in Akron and the Cleveland suburbs of Parma Heights and Euclid.
Loehmann resigned from the Independence police department in December 2012 after he learned he was likely going to be fired. An evaluation by a police supervisor criticized Loehmann for his inability to follow directions and his “dismal” handgun skills.
Cleveland officials have acknowledged that the city’s human resources department did not obtain a copy of Loehmann’s personnel file from Independence when he was hired to be a police officer in Cleveland and did not learn about the circumstances surrounding his resignation until after the shooting.
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