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Cleveland police: Officer Loehmann’s file from Independence police not reviewed before hiring

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio --Cleveland police said Wednesday night that during a review of Officer Timothy Loehmann's applicant process, detectives did not review his Independence Police Department personnel file.  Loehmann is the Cleveland police officer who shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice on Nov. 22.

Cleveland police also said, "The Cleveland Division of Police does not have a written policy mandating a review of an applicant’s previous employer personnel file. While our policy does not require obtaining a personnel file prior to employment, the Cleveland Division of Police has amended our policies to request a personnel file from previous employers.

Our investigation into this matter has revealed that during the background investigation of Officer Loehmann Cleveland Police detectives, assigned to the personnel unit, interviewed the Human Resources Director for the City of Independence. During that interview detectives  inquired if there were any disciplinary actions or incidents that Cleveland Police should be aware of prior to hiring Loehman , at which point they were told there were none. The reason for departure indicated was resignation. Officer Loehmann indicated that he resigned for personal reasons which was substantiated by the City of Independence."

The City of Independence released Loehmann's file today.

Loehmann resigned from Independence Police Department, but his personnel file shows he turned in that resignation after being told the department was beginning a disciplinary process for his separation from the force.

The file states Loehmann, who was hired in Independence in July of 2012, became distracted and weepy during a state range qualification course, he could not communicate clear thoughts and his handgun performance was dismal.

In a letter in his personnel file, a deputy chief states that he did not believe Loehmann showed the maturity to work at their department. The letter stressed his "dangerous loss of composure during live range training and his inability to manage personal stress."

It also added that the deputy chief did not believe "time, nor training" will be able to correct the officer's deficiencies.

The file shows that Loehmann resigned citing personal reasons in December 2012.

Loehmann was hired in Cleveland in March 2014.

Police say he fired his gun and shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice Nov. 22 in the playground area of Cudell Recreation Center. He said he had ordered Rice to show his, hands but instead the boy reached for his waistband.

Rice had an airsoft pistol that looked like a real gun.

Read more here.


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