Cleveland Officer Involved in Shooting of Tamir Rice Gets Suspension Cut in Half


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Cleveland police officer Frank Garmback received a 10-day suspension for his role in the 2014 fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. As reported by, arbitrator Daniel Zeisler has halved the suspension to five days.

Garmback's suspension was given for using improper tactics when driving his police cruiser to within feet of Tamir and for failing to notify dispatchers when he arrived at Cudell Recreation Center.

Zeisler released an opinion from April 4 to yesterday as part of a public records request, noting that the city incorrectly classified Garmback's disciplinary proceedings as Group III, the most serious disciplinary category.

According to Zeisler, Group III infractions typically include excessive uses of force or an officer caught stealing on the job.

As Zeisler wrote in his statement to, "Employing improper tactics, while not as serious as the conduct listed in Group III, is more than a minor violation and warrants more than a warning."

Tamir Rice was shot by the now-fired rookie officer Timothy Loehmann, who was fired for lying on his police application and not for shooting a 12-year-old playing with a toy gun. Garmback was serving as Loehmann's training officer when the shooting took place.

Zeisler did agree with Safety Director Michael McGrath's conclusions that Garmback took an improper approach when driving up to Tamir, but clarified that the issues for the arbitration had nothing to do with the shooting, only the discipline for using improper tactics.

Garmback also recently made headlines after a Dunkin' Donuts worker refused to serve him an iced coffee and lost his job over it, with full support of the police union.

As fellow Scene reporter Sam Allard pointed out, "[the firing of the worker] is especially ironic when on-the-job infractions result in no meaningful consequences for police officers; or else the consequences are fiercely and blindly challenged by the Union, with frequent success."

Ironic, indeed.

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