While Officer Garmback was suspended for violations related to the shooting, like failing to report his arrival to a radio dispatcher, the administrative charges leveled against Officer Loehmann did not even mention the 2014 episode.
Officer Loehmann was instead fired for lying on his employment application in 2013, a violation that came to light only after officials began investigating the officers after Tamir’s death. Still, the police chief noted that since the shooting, changes had been made in the way officers are trained.
Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, said her family was relieved to hear of the firing but still considered it too little, too late. “Shame on the city of Cleveland for taking so long to render a decision like this,” she said in a phone interview. “Timothy Loehmann should have never been a police officer in the first place.”
She added that Officer Garmback should have been fired rather than suspended, “for pulling up so close to my son to create the danger” at the time of the shooting.
On Nov. 22, 2014, the officers were dispatched after Tamir was reported for playing with a pellet gun near a recreation center. Though the caller specified that the gun was “probably fake,” that information was not communicated to the responding officers. Video released after the episode showed that Officer Loehmann shot Tamir within two seconds of the patrol car pulling up beside the boy.
In 2015, a grand jury declined to bring criminal charges against any of the officers involved in the shooting, which inflamed national outrage over this and other prominent killings of young African-Americans by police officers.
In January, it was announced that the two officers along with a third officer, William Cunningham, would face administrative charges from the department. Those charges were brought after a special committee was created by the department to investigate…