Bellaire Police Chief Dick Flanagan has confirmed the hiring of Timothy Loehmann, the former Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
Loehmann has not yet worked a single day at the department, but Flanagan says he has made a good impression on other officer in ride-alongs. He has ridden with officers in their cruisers, and they believe that he is well-liked and articulate.
In the hiring process, Chief Flanagan says that Loehmann was up front about his past from the moment he came in to apply for the job, and he believes that people can change from year to year.
“I don’t thumb my nose at anybody. I have black relatives,” said Chief Flanagan. “It’s just unfortunate that a young person lost their life. I know how that feels. I feel for that family, but at some point, you have to pick yourself up and go on.”
Before he begins work for the department, Loehmann must still complete 16 hours of training and take a test.
Chief Flanagan also came under fire for the hiring of Eric Smith, the ousted Bethesda police chief accused of wrongfully using the police computer. Today, Flanagan announced that Smith is “no longer an employee here.”