The former Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 has been hired as the lone cop in a Pennsylvania borough.
Timothy Loehmann was sworn in as the sole officer in the roughly 700-person borough of Tioga, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday.
Loehmann, who killed Rice in 2014 as he played with a toy gun by a Cleveland recreation center, was fired in 2017 for lying on his job application.
In 2015, an Ohio grand jury declined to indict Loehmann on any criminal charges related to the fatal shooting.
Garrett Carr, a freelancer for the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, first reported the news on Loehmann’s hire.
Tioga Mayor David Wilcox said that he was “unaware” of the officer’s background and that the borough’s council president “led him to believe” there wasn’t an issue with the hire, WEWS-TV reported.
Wilcox said the hiring and firing of officers occurs through the council, according to WEWS-TV.
Wilcox, in an interview with Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer, said he was “under the impression” there was a thorough background check on Loehmann.
“I found it strange that someone would move here all the way from Cleveland, Ohio, for $18 an hour,” Wilcox said.
“But I heard that he wanted to get away from it all and come here to hunt and fish.”
Tioga is a roughly 280-mile drive from Cleveland, according to Google Maps.
Loehmann was hired to be a part-time police officer Bellaire, Ohio, in 2018 but withdrew his application after news broke of the hire, according to WEWS-TV.
Samaria Rice, Tamir Rice’s mother, told reporters in 2018 that she hoped Loehmann would not be hired again as a police officer.
She echoed that sentiment Wednesday when told of Loehmann’s hiring in Pennsylvania.
“Whoever hired him made a big mistake,” said Rice, according to Cleveland.com.
“He shouldn’t be a police officer anywhere in the United States.”
Rice family and estate attorney Subodh Chandra agreed with Samaria Rice, Cleveland.com reported.
“Tioga officials apparently don’t care whether a police officer was considered mentally unfit for one department, lied on his application to another, rushed upon and slew a child, and then lied about calling out warnings to Tamir — when his window was rolled up on a winter’s day,” Chandra said.
Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Jeff Follmer, in a statement on the hiring, said Loehmann was not “given a fair chance” in the Cleveland area and deserved to be an officer elsewhere.