Friday, January 23, 2015

rule of law: humanizing and explaining overseer loehmann - there will be no consequences in cleveland...,


NYTimes |  Officer Garmback, 46, who had joined the force in 2008, was at a nearby church when the call came. With him was his partner, Officer Loehmann, 26, hired just eight months before.

Officer Loehmann had grown up in Parma, a largely white suburb of Cleveland, but he commuted 30 minutes to an all-male, Roman Catholic high school on the city’s east side, Benedictine, where many of the students were minorities.

People who knew Officer Loehmann there recalled him as quiet and serious, active in the band and the German Club. The Rev. Gerard Gonda, the school’s president, said Mr. Loehmann had a solid record at Benedictine, where as a junior he was in Father Gonda’s theology class. “He had a very low-key personality, and I would say kind of a gentle personality,” Father Gonda said.

The Rev. Anselm Zupka, who taught Officer Loehmann at Benedictine and was also his confirmation sponsor at his local parish, said “Timmy” had embraced his Catholicism to an extent that Father Zupka suggested to him that he might want to enter the monastery.

But the teenager had other ideas. “He was always interested in police work, because that’s what his father did,” Father Gonda said.

Officer Loehmann had long wanted to emulate his father, Frederic, who served in the New York Police Department for 20 years before becoming a federal marshal. So in 2011, he earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology and sociology from Cleveland State University, according to his personnel file, and the next year, he went to work for the police in Independence, Ohio.

But there, according to police records, he had emotional problems related to a girlfriend. At a shooting range, he was “distracted and weepy,” a supervisor said. One of his supervisors concluded that Officer Loehmann “would not be able to substantially cope, or make good decisions,” during stressful situations. After six months, the department allowed him to resign.