Officer who fatally shot Tamir Rice was sworn in and resigned from his new law enforcement post the same week, official says

Loehmann was to be Tioga Borough’s only police officer, according to borough mayor David Wilcox, CNN News 5 Cleveland affiliate reported Wednesday. According to the last Decennial census datathe rural town in north-central Pennsylvania had a population of 606 in 2020.

Henry Hilow, an attorney who represents Loehmann, told CNN his client resigned from the Tioga Borough Police Department due to a dispute between Wilcox and the borough council. Loehmann was sworn in earlier the same week by Wilcox, according to Tioga City Council President Steve Hazlett.

The mayor and council were briefed on Loehmann’s background, Hilow said, a topic they brought up during his interview. However, where the board continued to support Loehmann’s appointment to the police department, Wilcox did not, according to Hilow.

Loehmann felt the dispute would not allow him to do his job to the best of his abilities, so he quit, Hilow said.

“He didn’t want to be a distraction for people,” he added. “The situation was discussed, along with other questions about his qualifications to serve the community. In no way was there any deception on the part of Mr. Loehmann.”

CNN contacted Wilcox and his attorney. They did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wilcox said he was unaware of Loehmann’s background, since the hiring and firing of the borough’s sole officer is a matter for the borough council, News 5 reported. Wilcox attended the interview. of Loehmann – during which the former officer’s time in Cleveland was discussed, although his involvement in Rice’s death was not mentioned – after which Loehmann was “unanimously approved” by the council, News 5 reported.

“I was not allowed to take his resume or review his background,” the mayor told News 5, quoting the mayor.

According to Hilow, the mayor was well aware of Loehmann’s background before he was sworn in.

“It is dishonest of the mayor to say otherwise,” Hilow told CNN in a statement.

Hazlett confirmed to CNN that Loehmann had “withdrawn his candidacy” and later clarified that by “candidate” he meant Loehmann’s position with the Tioga Borough Police Department.

Other borough officials did not respond to questions from CNN about Loehmann’s work history.

On Nov. 22, 2014, Loehmann fatally shot Tamir Rice in a playground, three seconds after getting out of his patrol car, CNN previously reported.

At the time he was shot, Rice was holding a replica toy gun. A witness called 911, reporting that an individual brandishing a firearm was in a park. The caller said the firearm was likely fake – but that information was not passed on to dispatched officers. Loehmann was a trainee at the time.

An Ohio grand jury declined to criminally indict the officers in 2015.

Loehmann was eventually fired in 2017 — not for the shooting, but because investigators found he wasn’t honest about his work history when he applied for the job.


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