Former Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann, who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice while on duty back in 2014, has withdrawn his application to join a Southeast Ohio Village's police department, our NBC sister station WTOV confirms.
Tamir's mother, Samaria, also announced Loehmann had rescinded his application during a statement Wednesday in a press conference with Cleveland media. She and others strongly condemned the Bellaire Police Department after it announced last week it had hired Loehmann as a part-time officer. Chief Richard Flanagan originally said Loehmann "deserves a second chance."
He was responding to a 911 call that someone was waving around what looked to be a gun and threatening people at the Cudell Recreation Center on Cleveland's west side. The gun Tamir had was a toy that looked real.
After a grand jury decided not to charge him criminally, the Cleveland Division of Police fired him last year when it was discovered he was previously deemed "unfit for duty."
Bellaire's decision to hire Loehmann had provoked strong reactions on both sides, with some agreeing he deserved to continue his police career while others were outraged that any department would hire him based on his past history.
On Wednesday Samaria Rice said she was "devastated", saying, "It feels like a personal attack on our family at the hands of the Bellaire police department. it is also putting the safety of innocent people at risk"
Those there to support Samaria stated Loehmann only pulled his application after "thousands" (including some in Bellaire) spoke up.
Flanagan confirmed, "I have accepted his withdrawal from the Bellaire police department. The pressures of all of this. He's been through enough the last couple years. He cared about the community here. He didn't want no protests, no violence, nothing of that nature," said Flanagan.
Others even want more, calling on Chief Flanagan to resign.
When asked about the prospect of Loehman ever working again as an officer, Samaria had this to say: "As long as I'm living he won't".
In closing out the press conference that announced Loehmann's resignation before he ever even started, Samaria said, "Well I'm here to save the day again."
Officer Loehman is waiting to do any interviews until arbitrators make a decision in his appeal with the city of Cleveland.
WATCH | You can see Samaria Rice's complete press conference in the player below: