The Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 has been fired from the police department.

An investigation concluded that he withheld details of his past employment when he applied to the department months prior to the shooting.

At a news conference today, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced that Officer Timothy Loehmann, who shot Tamir, has been terminated from the department effective immediately.

Officer Frank Garmback, who was driving the patrol car at the time of the shooting, has been suspended for 10 days and will be required to attend additional tactical training after it was determined his tactics during the shooting violated department policies.

Advertisement

Tamir was killed in November 2014 when Loehmann, a rookie police officer, responded to an emergency call about a boy with a gun - a weapon that was described by the caller as likely a fake - near a recreation centre in Cleveland.

However, multiple investigations found, the dispatcher failed to inform the responding officers that the caller said Tamir was "probably" a child and the gun was "probably fake".

Video from a nearby camera showed Garmback driving his cruiser up to where the boy was playing near a gazebo, and Loehmann leaping from the passenger seat. Seconds later, Tamir had been shot and was dying in the snow. The boy's weapon turned out to be a pellet gun.

The shooting - one in a series of high profile police killings of black men, women and children in late 2014 and early 2015 - prompted US outrage and nights of protest in Cleveland, but ultimately prosecutors declined to press charges against Loehmann. An internal affairs investigation would later conclude that he did not violate any department policies when he shot and killed Tamir.

But a separate investigation concluded that Loehmann had lied when he applied to work for the Cleveland Division of Police, which is the infraction that led to his firing.

In a statement, the Rice family said the announcement that Loehmann would be fired for lying but not for killing Tamir "only added insult to the pain and grief".

"I am relieved Loehmann has been fired because he should never have been a police officer in the first place-but he should have been fired for shooting my son in less than one second, not just for lying on his application." Samaria Rice, Tamir's mother, said in a statement."And Garmback should be fired too, for his role in pulling up too close to Tamir,"

The announcement brings to end a more-than-two-year process that included investigations by Cleveland police, the local sheriff's office, the county prosecutor, as well as a special Critical Incident Review Committee - which aimed to determine if any administrative violations had taken place.

Advertisement