By JOHN RABY
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The former Cleveland officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 has resigned from a police force in West Virginia, the third time in six years he left a small department amid backlash shortly after he had been hired.

White Sulphur Springs City officials said Timothy Loehmann resigned Monday afternoon as a probationary officer.

In a statement issued to WVVA-TV , Mayor Kathy Glover said Loehmann had been hired at the recommendation of White Sulphur Springs Police Chief D.S. Teubert.

“Since this is an employment matter, I will have no further comment,” Glover said.

It wasn’t immediately clear how long Loehmann had been on the force.

Subodh Chandra, a Cleveland-based attorney for Rice's family, said that while it’s a relief that Loehmann is no longer a police officer in White Sulphur Springs, "there must be accountability for the atrocious judgment of the police chief and any other officials involved" in having hired him.

A call to Teubert’s office went unanswered. The Associated Press left a telephone message Tuesday for Glover. A phone number for Loehmann could not be located and an attorney who formerly represented him wasn’t immediately available to comment.

White Sulphur Springs is home to the posh Greenbrier resort, owned by Republican Gov. Jim Justice in southeastern West Virginia along the Virginia border.

Rice, who was Black, was playing with a pellet gun outside a recreation center in Cleveland on Nov. 22, 2014, when he was shot and killed by Loehmann seconds after Loehmann and his partner arrived. The officers, who are white, told investigators Loehmann had shouted three times at Tamir to raise his hands.

The shooting sparked community protests about police treatment of Black people, especially after a grand jury decided not to indict Loehmann or his partner.

Cleveland settled a lawsuit over Tamir’s death for $6 million, and the city ultimately fired Loehmann for having lied on his application to become a police officer.

Loehmann later landed a part-time position with a police department in the southeast Ohio village of Bellaire in October 2018 but withdrew his application days later after Tamir’s mother, Samaria, and others criticized the hiring.

In July 2022, he was sworn in as the lone police officer in Tioga — a community of about 600 in rural north-central Pennsylvania, about 300 miles (480 kilometers) from Cleveland — but left without having worked a single shift amid backlash and media coverage over his hiring.

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