Tim Loehmann, the Cleveland police officer who shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice to death last month, resigned from a smaller Ohio police force in 2012 after being found unfit for duty. Among other obviously disqualifying behavior, Loehmann was "distracted" and "weepy" during his firearm qualification session, according to just-released records from his brief tenure with the Independence police department.
"He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal," Independence Deputy Chief Jim Polak wrote in a letter on November 29, 2012, according to records obtained by the Northeast Ohio Media Group. "For these reasons, I am recommending he be released from the employment of the city of Independence. I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct these deficiencies."
Polak also wrote that he believed there would certain situations during which Loehmann would "not react in the way instructed."
Loehmann's troubles began in 2012 while he attended the Cleveland Heights Police Academy. An issue with an on-again, off-again girlfriend caused Loehmann distress and, in one case, he fell asleep during training, according to a written report from Independence Police Sgt. Greg Tinnirello.
Loehmann told Tinnirello that he cried often about his personal issue during training and Loehmann's mother told Tinnierello that her son's study papers "would be soaked in tears nightly for three months."
The problems at Independence erupted on Nov. 28, 2012, the records say. Loehmann showed up "sleepy and upset" for a 6 a.m. state gun qualification session.
Tinnierello wrote that Loehmann "was distracted and was not following simple instructions" at the shooting range.
At one point, he went to the back of the range to reload his magazine and could not return to the line where he was supposed to shoot from, Tinnierello wrote. Loehmann appeared to be crying and was emotionally upset so Tinnierello said they would stop the exercise for the day.
Loehmann resigned from the Independence force on December 3, 2012, just four days after Polak's letter and six months after joining the department. In March 2014, Loehmann joined the Cleveland police department, in part, according to his father, because he wanted "more action" than the Independence department could offer.
[Image via AP]