Before Tim Loehmann—the officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice—joined the Cleveland Police Department, he had a brief career with the Independence, Ohio, police, a suburban department that ruled him unfit for police work, Cleveland.com reports.
According to the report, a Nov. 29, 2012, letter from the Independence Police Department, kept in Loehmann’s personnel file, described the officer as “distracted” and “weepy” during firearms qualification training.
“He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal,” the letter, written by Independence Police Deputy Chief Jim Polak, read, according to Cleveland.com.
“I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct the deficiencies,” Polak said, adding the recommendation that the department let the officer go.
Loehmann is being investigated for the fatal Nov. 22 shooting of 12-year-old Tamir, who was playing with a BB gun outside the Cudell Recreation Center in Cleveland. Loehmann discharged his weapon, killing the boy, mere seconds after arriving on the scene, according to the report. He was responding to a 911 call about a person flashing a gun. The caller also told operators that the weapon was “probably fake,” but that message reportedly was never relayed to officers.
Cleveland.com notes that it is uncertain as to whether Cleveland officials saw the personnel report from Independence police before hiring Loehmann. Loehmann’s father reportedly told the Northeast Ohio Media Group that his son left Independence to get “more action.”
According to the news site, Loehmann’s troubles began as a result of distress related to an on-again, off-again girlfriend. At one point he fell asleep during training, according to a written report from Independence police Sgt. Greg Tinnirello.
Loehmann revealed to Tinnirello that he cried about the personal matter during training, and his own mother told the police sergeant that his study papers “would be soaked in tears nightly for three months.”
Loehmann reportedly defied orders on Nov. 26, 2012, when he was told to stay in the Independence police dispatch center. He reportedly left the center without permission and then lied to Tinnirello, telling the sergeant that dispatchers had given him leave.
This all culminated in the Nov. 28 training session to which the letter refers.
Read more at Cleveland.com.