Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor
It is always tragic when anyone is killed. It doesn’t matter if it is accidental or intentional. The tragedy of someone dying is universal. However, when the person killed by a Cleveland Police Officer is a 12-year-old, tragic just doesn’t seem to describe it correctly. You will probably recall the recent case out of Cleveland, Ohio where 12-year-old Tamir Rice was killed by Officer Timothy Loehmann.
Tamir Rice was shot while playing in a Cleveland park. A citizen called 911 and suggested that a juvenile was pointing a gun, which was probably a toy, at people in the park. When Officer Loehmann and his partner answered the call they saw Tamir playing on a swing with the “weapon” in the waistband of his pants. Released videos suggested that Officer Loehmann fired at Tamir within 1-2 seconds of arriving at the park. That same video evidence also shows police throwing Tamir’s 14-year-old sister to the ground and handcuffing her.
When I first heard about the November 22nd, 2014 incident, I was shocked that a 12 year could be gun downed by a police officer. Even the recent stories about the police killing suspects in New Mexico, Missouri, New York City, to name a few, did not prepare me for this killing. Tamir was a 12-year-old child.
When the videos came out and when the truth about Officer Loehmann surfaced, I realized that Officer Loehmann was unfit for duty as a police officer anywhere and the Cleveland Police Department was negligent in hiring an unstable young man to patrol its streets. The decision to hire Officer Loehmann initiated the sad outcome in November. Continue reading “The Sad and Negligent Decision to Hire Officer Timothy Loehmann”