Letters of discipline issued for officer, dispatcher involved in Tamir Rice case

Letters of discipline issued in Tamir Rice case

CLEVELAND - An officer and a dispatcher have been disciplined in the Tamir Rice deadly shooting.

Two letters of discipline were issued Tuesday.

Patrol officer William Cunningham received a two-day suspension.

Cunningham was not found guilty of lying to investigators. He was disciplined for working a second job without departmental permission.

Dispatcher Constance Hollinger has been suspended eight days. She received critical information from a 9-1-1 caller that she failed to pass along to the two officers involved in the shooting.  

Tamir's mother has called for officers Loehman and Garmbach to be fired but there's still no decision on discipline for either officers.

 A grand jury refused to indict the pair in December 2015.

Rice's mother Samaria Rice responded to the discipline letters in the statement below.

Dispatcher's negligence leading to death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice results in "unacceptable" and "pathetic" 8-day suspension
By Subodh Chandra of The Chandra Law Firm LLC posted in Civil rights on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

Cleveland, OH - "Unacceptable." That is how Samaria Rice, the bereaved mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, described the mere eight-day suspension Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams gave Constance Hollinger, a police dispatcher, for Hollinger's negligence resulting in Tamir's death from a police shooting on November 22, 2014.

Subodh Chandra, Ms. Rice's Cleveland-based counsel, added, "Eight days for gross negligence resulting in the death of a 12-year-old boy. How pathetic is that?"

Hollinger was charged administratively for having failed to convey a 9/11 caller's information that Tamir was "probably a juvenile" and that his toy gun was "probably a fake."

Williams conducted a closed-door hearing on February 22, 2017 to which Samaria Rice was not invited and in which she thus had no voice. With no apparent sense of irony or self-awareness, Chief Williams wrote in boilerplate at the bottom of his suspension letter: "It is the Division's earnest desire that this letter will serve as a deterrent against future acts of this nature."

The letter states that the discipline letter will only be in Hollinger's file for two years.

Chandra added, "Fat chance of this absurd discipline deterring anyone from anything other than continued incompetence and indifference. That the dispatcher still has her job when a child is dead speaks volumes about accountability in Cleveland."

"If this is the best that that system can offer, then the system is broken." 

The Rice family settled a lawsuit with the City of Cleveland for six million dollars. 

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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