A Cleveland, Ohio 911 dispatcher has been suspended for eight days in connection with the Tamir Rice shooting. Officials say Constance Hollinger failed to relay messages from 911 caller who told her that the boy’s gun was “probably fake.”
On November 22, 2014, two Cleveland division of police officers responded to a call about a male pointing a gun at people in a local park. At some point, Timothy Loehmann ended up shooting 12-year-old Rice, killing him. Many blame 911 operator Constance Hollinger for his death.
According to the investigation into her actions that day, the 911 caller stated that the pistol was “probably fake” at the beginning of the call, and again during the middle of the call. Reports also show that near the end of the two-minute 911 call, the caller also told Hollinger that “he is probably a juvenile.”
Cleveland officer Timothy Loehmann shot and killed Tamir Rice within two seconds after getting out of his police cruiser. By this time, the facts that the “man” was actually a teenage boy, and that the “pistol” was probably fake had not been relayed to the cops on the scene.
The Cleveland 911 dispatcher was suspended for eight days for contributing to the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
A 2015 grand jury did not indict Loehmann, who thought that Tamir’s airsoft pistol was a real gun, or his partner for the shooting outside of a rec center.
The boy’s death sparked protests in Cleveland and around the country as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.
However, local prosecutors said police errors such as Hollinger’s, where she also did not relay that the alleged “guy” with a gun was “probably a juvenile,” as contributing to the death.
Cleveland Police brought administrative charges against several officers in January.
Those charges resulted in the dispatcher’s eight-day suspension without pay, though Tamir’s mother has called the punishment “unacceptable” and light.
“Eight days for gross negligence resulting in the death of a 12-year-old boy. How pathetic is that?” said Subodh Chandra, an attorney for Samaria Rice.
Samaria Rice has urged that officers involved in the shooting be fired.
Loehmann and his partner Frank Garmback could still be dismissed under their administrative charges, which have been criticized for not addressing the conduct that led to Tamir’s death.
“It’s the equivalent of going after Al Capone for tax charges rather than his violent conduct,” lawyer Earl Ward told the Daily News in January.
Loehmann is accused of failing to disclose problem at a previous police job, and Garmback is accused of driving too close to Tamir.
William Cunningham, an officer who responded to the scene after working an off duty job without permission, was suspended for two days.