News & Politics

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

The city finds yet another way to spit in the bereaved family's face.

Photo Credit: YouTube

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. 

Kali Holloway is a senior writing fellow and the senior director of Make It Right, a project of the Independent Media Institute.