A Cleveland police officer who fatally shot a 12-year-old boy who had a BB gun in his hand last month resigned from a smaller police department in 2012 after being found unfit for duty.
Tim Loehmann was found the be “distracted” and “Weepy” during his firearm qualification session, according to records released from his brief stint with the Independence police department. Tamir Rice was shot to death as he played in a local park in the city.
“He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal,” Independence Deputy Chief Jim Polak wrote in a letter on November 29, 2012, according to records obtained by the Northeast Ohio Media Group. “For these reasons, I am recommending he be released from the employment of the city of Independence. I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct these deficiencies.”
Polak also wrote that he believed there would certain situations during which Loehmann would “not react in the way instructed.”
Loehmann’s troubles with the department began in 2012 while he attended the Cleveland Heights Police Academy. Issues with his on-again, off-again girlfriend caused distress, and he feel asleep in training in one instance.
According to Independence Police Sgt. Greg Tinnirello, Loehmann told him that he cried often about his personal issues during training. His mother told the Sgt. that her son’s study papers “would be soaked in tears nightly for three months.”
The problems at Independence came to a boil on Nov. 28, 2012 when Loehmann showed up “sleepy and upset” for a 6 a. m. state gun qualification session.
Tinnierello wrote that Loehmann “was distracted and was not following simple instructions” at the shooting range.
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