Shocker! That Cop Who Shot Tamir Rice Dead Was Booted For Being So Bad At Copping

Turns out Timothy Loehmann, the police officer and nice Catholic schoolboy who shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice to death in a Cleveland park, couldn't hack it on a small town force, so he took his talents to Cleveland.

"Distracted and weepy" -- that's how a suburban police department described Loehmann back in November 2012, after Loehmann basically flunked the force's firearms qualification training. Supervisors described Loehmann's handgun performance as "dismal," which has a whole new ring to it now that we're nearly two weeks removed from the death of Rice. According to

"[Loehmann] could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal," according to the letter written by Deputy Chief Jim Polak of the Independence police. [...]

"I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct the deficiencies," Polak said.

It's still unclear whether the Cleveland P.D. asked their brother officers in Independence why they'd let an outstanding cop like Loehmann get away. One way or another, Loehmann couldn't pass muster in Independence (pop. 7,133), so he decided to apply to the Cleveland Police Department, who may want to review their hiring procedures. The story apparently went to press before they got a response from the police, but The Guardian followed up and got this cryptic answer about Loehmann's perhaps-nonexistent reference check.

In March of this year, Loehmann was hired by the Cleveland police department. It is unclear whether the department had seen the Independence memo at the time of Loehmann’s hiring.

“I have not received any instruction about it, and I have not received the file” from Independence, said Sgt Ali Pillow, a Cleveland police spokesman. He said the Cleveland department had not commented on whether it had seen the memo from Independence before Loehmann was hired.

Yr Wonket would like to commend Cleveland police spokesman Sgt. Pillow for issuing such a completely and utterly vacuous statement. It's good to know at least some of you guys know how to do your jobs properly.

Anyway, back to this Loehmann guy, the shooty one who couldn't stop crying or whatever. In the words of a younger Arnold Schwarzenegger, why do you cry?

“During a state range qualification course, Ptl Loehmann was distracted and weepy,” Polak wrote, naming the trainer as Sgt Tinnirello. “[Loehmann] could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal. Sgt Tinnirello tried to work through this with Ptl Loehmann by giving him some time. But, after some talking it was clear to Sgt Tinnirello that the recruit was just not mentally prepared to be doing firearm training ...

“Ptl Loehmann continued with his emotional meltdown to a point where Sgt Tinnirello could not take him into the store, so they went to get something to eat and he continued to try and calm Ptl Loehmann. Sgt Tinnirello describes the recruit as being very downtrodden, melancholy with some light crying. Sgt Tinnirello later found this emotional perplexity was due to a personal issue with Ptl Loehmann’s on and off again girlfriend whom he was dealing with till 0400 hrs the night before. (Pti Loehmann was scheduled for 0800 the morning in question).”

Some of the comments made by Ptl Loehmann during this discourse were to the effect of, “I should have gone to NY”, “maybe I should quit”, “I have no friends”, “I only hang out with 73-year-old priests”, “I have cried every day for four months about this girl.”

Don't judge, Wonketeers. Think of all the times you've been hired onto a new job, and then you just break down crying and dump all your emotional baggage on your new boss, and you whine about how no one likes you except for some septuagenarian priest, and even then, you're pretty sure he's just hanging out with you because he has to. Happens to lots of people, probably.

Polak's report details other incidents that -- combined with Loehmann's hot, salty, gun-range man-tears -- led him to believe that Loehmann was never going to show "the maturity needed to work in our employment." The Cleveland Police Department did not seem to share Deputy Chief Polak's concerns, though they're probably rethinking that position right now.

You can read the full report from the Independence Police Department here. We would like to thank the professionals at Pinkerton Global Screening Solutions for their meticulous record keeping (no, seriously, check out the second page of the report). And it's nice to know that at least some in the media think it's important to look into the background of the cop who killed a kid, instead of just looking into what the kid or his parents must have done wrong to get himself killed in the first place.

[ via The Guardian]

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