Former Cleveland officer withdraws application from Bellaire Police Dept.

Former Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann has withdrawn his application from the Bellaire Police Department, according to Police Chief Dick Flanagan.

Loehmann was formerly a Cleveland Police officer involved in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014. The Cuyahoga County Grand Jury decided not to file charges against him.

Flanagan gave comment on Loehmann's withdrawal:

At approximately 3 o’clock this afternoon, I had received a phone call from Tim Loehmann. He was calling to inform me that he’s rescinding his application here at the Bellaire Police Department. I had accepted his withdrawal from the Bellaire Police Department and he proceeded to tell me that he wanted to pursue the legal end of what's going on there in Cleveland, and he just doesn't have the time.
He knows fully well of the pressures of all of this. He’s been through enough for a couple years. He cared about the community. He didn't want no protests, no violence, nothing of that nature.

He was to join the police force in Bellaire among several other hires. In an interview with NEWS9, Flanagan said he believes in giving people a second chance.

The Bellaire Police Department received back-lash from the community after accepting the application of a former Cleveland officer.

Flanagan said he was never officially sworn in and was still in the training process.

"Everyone assumes he was automatically hired. No. There was a process,” he said. “He did not receive one dime. He was not on the schedules "

Flanagan said since the news was announced the community and the state of Ohio have been in an uproar.

Hundreds of people making their voices and opinions heard.

"In this process, our citizens suffered a lot out of this because our phone lines were so jammed up. The entire county -- not just Bellaire -- couldn’t get police or EMS services because they couldn’t get through anywhere,” Flanagan said. “I think at one time they received over 250-260 phone calls from 8:30 in the morning to 12:30 in the afternoon.”

While Loehmann will head back to Cleveland to deal with a legal battle, the chief believes his withdrawing is more personal and supports the decision.

"I think he did the right thing by stepping down, not putting the citizens here in jeopardy. So, it shows that there is something to him,” Flanagan said. "In this job, we have to make split-second decisions. You have to see things you don’t want to see, do things you don’t want to do. You have to say things you don’t want to say. We're not super men, we just wear a uniform and enforce the law.”

The chief also adds he is now looking for another officer to fill this spot.

Stay with NEWS9 as more information becomes available.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off