In Ohio, a cop can kill a 12-year-old black boy and still get a 'second chance' and a second badge

Tamir Rice didn’t get a second chance, but his killer’s luck just keeps rolling.

Northeast Ohio celebrated when Tamir Rice’s killer, Timothy Loehmann, was fired from the Cleveland Police Department in 2017. Though his termination was not for his most notorious and murderous act, at least the rookie cop, who had been deemed unfit by no less than three police departments before sliding under the CPD radar, was no longer patrolling city streets. Loehmann, who was never indicted in Rice’s death, lost his job for failing to mention the multiple departments who had rejected him when filling out his job application—because apparently that’s way worse than shooting a middle schooler to death in a two-second interaction.

At the time, Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, said she was “relieved” by the news, but concerned about the long-term impact on Loehmann’s future in law enforcement.

“We still need accountability,” Rice said. “We want to make sure that he never gets re-hired again through the next process that they take.”

Sadly, that accountability never came. Bellaire, a teensy little town of not quite 4,000 on the border of West Virginia, has confirmed that Loehmann is back in the blue, wearing a badge and toting a gun on the taxpayer’s dime once again—despite killing a 12-year-old boy with his service weapon nearly four years ago. Loehmann was hired alongside another corrupt cop, Eric Smith, who is currently under investigation by the Ohio Attorney General.

Bellaire Police Chief Richard “Dick” Flanagan confirmed Friday that he hired Loehmann and Smith. He said he believes both men deserve second chances.


Flanagan said Friday he had no reservations about hiring Loehmann to work in his department.

“He was cleared of any and all wrongdoing,” Flanagan said of Loehmann. “He was never charged. It’s over and done with.”

Over and done with? Tell that to Tamir’s family. 

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