CLEVELAND (AP) — A 911 dispatcher who took a call that led to a white police officer’s fatal shooting of a 12-year-old black boy outside a recreation center has been suspended for eight days.

Police Chief Calvin Williams found in a disciplinary letter dated March 10 that Constance Hollinger violated protocol the day of the shooting of Tamir Rice, who had been playing with a pellet gun.

Tamir was shot within seconds of a police cruiser skidding to a stop just a few feet away from him in November 2014 outside the Cleveland rec center. The city’s internal disciplinary charges accused Hollinger of failing to tell the dispatcher who sent the officers to the rec center that the man who called 911 about “a guy” pointing a gun at people also said it could be a juvenile and the gun might be a “fake.”

That omission was cited by former Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty as a crucial mistake that impacted how officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback responded. Loehmann shot and killed Tamir less than two seconds after they arrived.

McGinty said the shooting might have been avoided if the information from the 911 caller had been properly relayed to the officers.

Cleveland safety director Michael McGrath handed down a two-day suspension for police officer William Cunningham, who was working off duty without permission at the rec center, in a disciplinary letter dated March 10.

A message seeking comment on behalf of Hollinger and Cunningham was left for the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association.

Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, said in a statement issued Tuesday by her attorney that Hollinger’s eight-day suspension was “unacceptable.”

“Eight days for gross negligence resulting in the death of a 12-year-old boy,” Rice’s attorney, Subodh Chandra, said in the statement. “How pathetic is that?”

Chandra said that if that is the best “that system can offer, then the system is broken.”

Loehmann and Garmback, who weren’t criminally charged, face possible discipline by McGrath that could result in them being dismissed from the Cleveland police department.

Loehmann’s disciplinary letter cites his failure to disclose in an application that the Independence Police Department, where he worked for six months, had placed a letter in his personnel file saying he had an “inability to emotionally function.” Garmback’s disciplinary letter accuses him of driving too close to Tamir and failing to report the time of arrival at the recreation center.

Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association president Steve Loomis has said the officers did nothing wrong the day Tamir was shot. Investigators said the boy was handling a pellet gun that officers believed was a real firearm.

Samaria Rice has called for the two officers to be fired.

The city agreed last April to pay Tamir’s family $6 million to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit.

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13 thoughts on “Cleveland 911 Operator In Tamir Rice Case Suspended

  1. Tim Green on said:

    Smh, a tragic chain of events … where I live like 2 months ago a 13 & 14yo shot & killed an innocent old man for no reason at an Atlanta gas station they were trying to rob …. I had the experience of getting to do the police officers “shoot, dont shoot” drill i died in every scenario, the police chief told me that people not in the cops position have the luxury of hindsight after the fact vs when police are forced into split second decision scenarios they encounter with very little information …. Another interesting thing the chief told me was that even if the cops had been told it was possibly a fake gun, cops are trained that if it looks like a gun, it is a real gun no matter what anyone says because “action is quicker than reaction” … which makes sense

    • Arthur Childress on said:

      These two ku klux kops were determined to kill or maim this young man. The only thing that would have saved him is white skin. No white kid would have been set upon like that. Proper procedure was absolutely NOT followed in this situation. And, whoever told you otherwise, is full of s//t.

    • Arthur Childress on said:

      God forbid I should ever need you or anyone else to explain a Supreme Court ruling to me. But, let me be clear. It is my unwavering position that had Tamir Rice been white, PROPER police procedure WOULD have been followed and Tamir Rice would probably be alive today and that is my point in this whole discussion! My hope is that loehmann should rot in the deepest recesses of hell for murdering that kid.

  2. Dr. Larry on said:

    It took Tamir less than 2 seconds to reach into his waistband for a very realistic gun, with the orange indicator intentionally removed to set this tragic event in motion. Any blame to his mother for letting him have this gun and her felony record? Any blame for the neighborhood that was rife with drugs, gangs, and crime? Tamir was emulating what he witnessed everyday in his home and community. The child’s death was tragic, but the police and dispatcher should not bear the brunt of the blame.

  3. Right again Arthur. I will admit up until I saw the video play out long after they arrived on the scene I had a different thought process. But after seeing it the seconds and minutes after the shooting, there was no doubt in my mind that Loehmann felt completely justified in killing this black kid in the 2 seconds he came in contact with him. And furthermore, that had this been a white kid with a gun, he would be alive today. He and other cops like him join the force to “control the blacks”. I’m most certain he went home that evening and his klan friends congratulated him on a job well done and encouraged him to keep up the good work.

    • Arthur Childress on said:

      No, these racist miscreants go into law enforcement to KILL Black men! You’re right, no white kid would have died under these exact same circumstances! They were there to do just what they did, murder! Loehmann, should NEVER have been hired based on his file and, Garmback cost the city 100,000 dollars after he beat a woman down and she sued his azz and the city in 2012.

      • Tim Green on said:

        I cant argue with someone that responds like an emotional woman … you took what i said out of context … PROCEDURE CERTAINLY WAS NOT FOLLOWED … but besides the way they drove up on him like they were crazy the dispatcher relaying the information that it was possibly a child playing with a fake gun wouldnt have changed much because they don’t have/arent trained for “child playing with a fake gun” … theyre trained to respond to “armed individual brandishing a firearm” … so while there were broken procedures, and the outcome is fucked up, there were no broken laws … if you need me to explain the Supreme Court rulings about it id be happy to

  4. It took more than 2 years to find that the dispatcher’s failure to accurately and effectively communicate the details from the caller which GREATLY contributed to Tamir’s death? And most importantly, the fact that it only took 2 seconds upon arriving on the scene to make the decision to kill this kid. Oh and hold on, not one officer at the scene immediately rendered or attempted first aid on this 12 y.o. kid. YES, THEY SHOULD ALL BE FIRED, not just suspended.

    • Arthur Childress on said:

      Loehmann should be in prison specialt. At NO time was he or Garmback following proper police procedure. Two racist cops doing just what they joined the police force to do!! McGinty never had any intention of prosecuting these murderers!

    • Arthur Childress on said:

      Actually Diane, Loehmann should have been and should be even now,criminally charged for Ist degree manslaughter at the very least!

      • Dr. Larry on said:

        I will admit that the driver of the police car pulled up too close to the pavilion, thus reducing reaction time. But when Tamir when for a very real looking gun in his waistband, gangsta style, the office followed protocol and neutralized the threat. Did you see the gun? Indistinguishable at 5 paces, let alone 40. No jury will indict with those facts present. Tell me what procedures weren’t followed

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