Tamir Rice's Family Must Sue Cleveland Police --For Truth and Justice

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Loehmann. Facebook sourced photo

This week Cleveland Police finally fired Officer Timothy Loehmann who killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice, in 2014, not for this child killing, they claim—but because he lied on his job application, and they supposedly weren’t aware of this important fact before.

Whether Cleveland Police know it or not their ridiculous reasoning raises more disturbing questions. Including, how Loehmann could have been given employment, given his disturbing past police work history, as somebody who was deemed an unstable recruit by another Ohio police entity, the Independence Police Department.

Have Cleveland Police picked what they believe is the storyline that portrays them in the best light? Or, did the Independence Police Department really conceal their damning critique of why Loehmann left their police force—as is being alleged by Cleveland Police officials?

On Tuesday, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams and Michael McGrath, Cleveland’s director of public safety announced the firing of Loehmann.

"Patrol officer Loehmann had been charged with rule violations concerning his application process to be considered a cadet with the Division of Police,” McGrath said. “Specifically, answers he had provided on his personal history statement.”

Police Chief Calvin Williams agreed. "After over two years of investigation by our agency, the county prosecutor's office (and) the sheriff's department, I think we've come to what we consider a fair conclusion to this process," Williams said speaking of the firing of Loehmann. The officer who drove the car, Officer Frank Garmback was suspended for 10 days for supposedly violating tactical rules related to how he drove the police vehicle.

Rice’s mother thinks Garmback should be fired too. "And Garmback should be fired, too, for his role in pulling up too close to Tamir," Samaria Rice said. "As we continue to grieve for Tamir, I hope this is a call for all of us to build stronger communities together."
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson offered "condolences to the family of Tamir Rice."

"You know, it's difficult when a child — in this case, a 12-year-old — loses their life," he said. "It makes it even more challenging and more difficult in terms of accepting it if it happens at the hands of a police officer."

This case of Tamir Rice is one of the best examples showing Black lives don’t matter. When prosecutors told us this cop wasn’t criminally liable for shooting this kid down dead, within two seconds of his arrival, they were telling us how immaterial Black life is to them. How is it possible a 12-year-old boy is killed in this way by an immature ignoramus and it takes more than two years for him just to be fired?

Some will say Loehmann thought Tamir’s toy gun was real. But consider this: why aren’t White Americans more disturbed an innocent child could be killed in this manner in America where we have gun right nuts and Second Amendment activists always railing about their constitutional gun rights? Toy guns are popular for male American kids, but Black American parents need to think long and hard before buying their kids toy guns.

Cleveland Police and city officials are clearly now engaged in public relation damage control. Did they do their due diligence by doing a thorough background check? Or, are they trying to cover-up the fact that they hired this loose cannon? Did the Independence Police Department suppress evidence of Loehmann’s negligence and incompetence?

We know Loehmann resigned from his previous police job at the Independence Police Department because he knew he was about to be fired because of his “lack of maturity” and “inability to perform basic functions as instructed.”

In an Independence Police Department memo, Loehmann was said to have had an “emotional meltdown” during a gun training exercise where he was also “distracted and weepy.” Apparently, he told the training sergeant he was having girlfriend problems. The memo also said stated that Loehmann displayed a “dangerous loss of composure” and that “his handgun performance was dismal.”

Given these damning findings by the Independence Police Department, it is quite convenient for the Cleveland Police to tell us Loehmann lied on his application and that’s why he was just fired. There’s another serious allegation to consider here: according to Cleveland Police spokesman Sgt. Ali Pillow, the human resources director for the city of Independence never told them about the disciplinary actions and incidents in Loehmann’s file. Could this be true?

Another disturbing discovery here is this shocking claim: present policy does not require Cleveland Police to review the previous personnel files of perspective employees like Loehmann. Nowadays, even someone applying for a dishwashing job would likely go through a background check. But here they’re telling us Loehmann may’ve been able to become a police officer without anything remotely looking like a real background check.

Equally weird here is Loehmann was able to get hired twice by two different police departments when he should have been laughed out of the building. Beside the curious way he was hired by Cleveland police, Loehmann was also hired by the Independence Police—after admitting he had not been employed for the five years prior to being hired by them. He also apparently had filed numerous job applications with multiple police departments.

In a discussion earlier this week, Black Star New publisher Milton Allimadi told me he believes the Cleveland Police were likely doing damage control to protect themselves from a massive lawsuit. Indeed, hiring Loehmann without investigating his background as a police officer prior to being hired on the Cleveland Police Department would highlight massive incompetence, at best. If they hired him knowing about his ineptitude that is a whole other matter. At any rate, Tamir Rice’s family should sue both of these municipal entities for the blood that is on their hands and to get to the bottom of what really happened here.

The personnel director of Independence City should be grilled about this matter. We need to know if the claim of Sgt. Pillow is really true. Did they tell Cleveland authorities there was nothing in Loehmann’s file? Did they tell them Loehmann left the Independence Police because of personal reasons?

We all know about the police Blue Wall of Silence, where police conceal and cover-up the crimes of officers. Is this what we’re looking at here? Did this city director really lie to Cleveland Police about Loehmann?

Assuming that scenario, this would be a bizarre example of the use of the Blue Wall where one municipality lies to another to shield the bad behavior of a cop. Police surely, repeatedly, lie to protect police. We’ve seen that in case after case, all across America. But if the Cleveland Police were lied too by authorities in the city of Independence, a lie which eventually led to this horrific killing of a 12-year-old child, then they deserved to be taken to task for their nefarious conduct.

This sort of scandalous police conduct should be focus of a large investigation. If we had an honest trustworthy Attorney General in the Justice Department one would expect them to naturally become involved in seeking the important answers here. But with a regressive racist Republican like Attorney General Jeff Sessions we can expect no accountability from him.

The killing of Tamir Rice is a horrible indictment American policing and their racist policies regarding Black America. Cleveland Police have fired Loehmann. But the blood of innocent Tamir Rice is on their hands—and anyone else who gave Loehmann a police badge.

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