'Adds Insult to Homicide': Cleveland Wants $500 for Ambulance That Carried Tamir Rice Away
12-year-old boy was shot and killed by police, but city attorneys still want the family to pay for EMS response
Renewed outraged has been stirred by revelations that the city of Cleveland has attempted to extract a $500 payment from the family of Tamir Rice for EMS services provided when the 12-year-old boy was fatally shot by police officers in 2014 while he played in a local park.
As Vince Grzegorek reported Wednesday for the Cleveland Scene:
If you think that the city of Cleveland and its law department couldn't handle the Tamir Rice case any worse than it has, well, we have news for you.
The city filed a creditor's notice against the estate of Tamir Rice looking for a past due amount of $500.
What's that $500 for?
It's "owing for emergency medical services rendered as the decedent's last dying expense under Ohio Revised Code."
The documents sent to the estate with the claim explain that the $500 covers $450 for ambulance services and additional charges for "mileage."
Subodh Chandra, the Rice family's attorney, described the indifferent behavior of city officials as "breathtaking" and new kind of assault against the victim, his family, and the community.
"That the city would submit a bill and call itself a creditor after having had its own police officers slay 12-year-old Tamir displays a new pinnacle of callousness and insensitivity," Chandra told the Scene. "The kind of poor judgment that it takes to do such a thing is nothing short of breathtaking. Who on earth would think this was a good idea and file this on behalf of the city? This adds insult to homicide."
Chandra called for the city of Cleveland to immediately withdraw the claim.
Though a Grand Jury was presented with the case last year, protests erupted in December when it was announced that no charges would be brought against officer Timothy Loehmann, who fired the shots that killed Rice, or his partner Frank Garmback, who along with Loehmann failed to administer medical aid after he was shot less than two seconds after they arrived on the scene.
As The Guardian adds:
The request for money from the family comes from a city that earned widespread scorn after it claimed in a defense document last year that the 12-year-old’s own actions “directly and proximately” caused his death.
The family has called on the US department of justice to investigate the shooting.
Cleveland city officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday night.