The former Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 14-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 resigned from his law enforcement position in Tioga Borough, Pennsylvania, less than a week after being sworn into the post.
CNN reports Timothy Loehmann was set to be the only cop in the borough, according to Mayor David Wilcox. According to the latest census data, the borough sports a population of fewer than 700 people.
Loehmann’s attorney, Henry Hilow, told CNN that he resigned due to a conflict between Mayor Wilcox and the borough council after being sworn in earlier this week. The mayor and the borough council were aware of Loehmann’s previous history, which they asked him about when he interviewed for the position. However, the council continued to support the hiring of Loehmann while Wilcox did not. The dispute made Loehmann feel he wouldn’t be able to perform the job to the best of his abilities, Hilow said.
“He didn’t want to be a distraction for people,” Hilow added. “The situation was discussed, as well as other questions of his qualifications to serve the community. In no way was their deceit by Mr. Loehmann.”
Now, Wilcox and Hilow are disputing each other’s claims. Wilcox said he was unaware of Loehmann’s background and attended the officer’s interview, but Rice’s death or Loehmann’s involvement in it was not mentioned. However, Hilow disputes those claims, adding the mayor was well aware of the officer’s background.
Tamir Rice was playing with a toy gun at a local Cleveland park on Nov. 22, 2014, when a witness reported someone was holding a firearm in the park that was likely fake, although that information was not relayed to the responding officers. Loehmann responded and, within three seconds of getting out of his patrol car, shot the teen twice in the torso killing him. An Ohio grand jury declined to charge Loehmann and the other two officers who responded.
The rookie officer was fired in 2017, but not for the shooting. Instead, he was fired for lying about his employment history when he applied for the job.