Cleveland Actually Wants Tamir Rice's Family to Foot the $500 Bill for His Ambulance Ride

As if to make more official its complete disregard for the short life and death of Tamir Rice, the city of Cleveland has sent his family a $500 bill "for emergency medical services rendered as the decedent's last dying expense." The request for payment comes just a few months after an Ohio grand jury declined to indict Timothy Loehmann, the Cleveland officer-in-training who fatally shot 12-year-old Rice as he played with a toy pellet gun. It comes just a year shy of the city’s claim that Rice’s death was his own fault.

Rice’s family attorney, Subodh Chandra, sent a statement to the Cleveland Scene expressing outrage over this city’s latest action in the case.

"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. 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.”

Even the president of the Cleveland Police Union, Steve Loomis, seemed stunned by the city’s latest misstep. “It is unconscionable that the city of Cleveland would send that bill to the Rice family,” Loomis told Fox 8 Cleveland. “Truly disappointing but unfortunately not surprising."

The creditor’s claim sent to Rice’s family lists “ambulance advance life support,” as well as a $50 fee for “mileage,” as expenses that are “past due.”

“The mayor and law director should apologize to the Rice family,” concludes the statement from attorney Chandra, “and withdraw this filing immediately.”

"This is ongoing litigation," the city of Cleveland told Fox 8, "and we do not comment about ongoing litigation."

The filing, in its entirety, is below. 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.