In America, second chances are for other people. And by other people, I mean white people, because when you’re black or brown—you typically feel the wrath of God (aka the justice system) when it comes to things like murder or sexually assaulting people. But not when you’re white. When you’re white, you’re given the benefit of the doubt, a plethora of excuses, another chance to kill or a supreme court nomination.
This past weekend has been proof of how second, third or even fourth chances are given to white men who have done inexcusable things, only to be placed in yet another position of power to possibly do it again.
Timothy Loehmann, the officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 has been hired by another police department in Bellair, Ohio. According to Bellair’s police chief, Richard Flanagan—Loehmann was recently hired as one of two new part-time officers.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that Loehmann was hired by another department, because once again, second chances come like first of the month food stamps to white people. Since Loehmann was never “technically” indicted for the murder of Rice, Flanagan felt he deserved another chance, in spite of what was discovered during his background check. According to The Root, Loehmann’s personnel file was quite detailed regarding his poor performance as an officer.
Per Independence Deputy Chief Jim Polak, Loehmann was “weepy” and “distracted” during firearms training. He allegedly told Polak that he was having trouble with his girlfriend at the time. But the deputy went further in his statements about Loehmann’s competence.
“He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal,” Polak wrote in 2012.
Polak recommended that Loehmann should leave the department.
“I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct the deficiencies,” Polak wrote.
He also said Loehmann lacked “maturity” to continue working for the Independence department, published reports indicate.
In 2009, Loehmann also failed an exam administered by the Maple Heights, Ohio, police department. Published reports indicate he failed to disclose that in his application to Cleveland, too.
Even with knowing this, Flanagan has stated he has no reservations about Loehmann, nor is he worried that his lack of attentiveness and sleepiness during firearm’s training, or ability to pass what appears to be an important job exam could in fact result in another unarmed black person being killed.
For the sake of the 4,000 residents that make up Bellair, Ohio, I hope there are no black people there or cross paths with Loehmann as they drive through the town that is 150 miles from his last crime scene.
Because according to Flanagan, “He was cleared of any and all wrongdoing. He was never charged. It’s over and done with.”
So, we should just get over it and give him a second chance.
….to kill again.