( 4UMF NEWS ) Cleveland Sues Tamar Rice’s Family For Ambulance Bill:
This takes adding insult to injury to a whole new level. The city of Cleveland, whose cops shot and killed a 12-year-old boy, Tamir Rice, over a toy gun, has billed the family for emergency medical services.
According to the creditor’s claim filed Wednesday in probate court, Rice’s family still owes the city $500 for the ambulance and paramedics who tried to save Tamir’s life after he was shot by a police officer in November 2014.
The notice, filed just six weeks after a grand jury declined to bring charges against the rookie officer, says the family is responsible “for emergency medical services rendered as the decedent’s last dying expense under Ohio Revised Code.”
The bill even provides a breakdown: $450 for “advance life support” that did not save him and $50 for the mileage driven by the ambulance to the hospital where he died.
“I was shocked when I saw that,” said Earl Ward, a Rice family lawyer. “It was cold and callous and disrespectful of a family who is still grieving, especially on the heels of the grand jury decision. It’s a $500 bill and the city is responsible for his death so I don’t see how they could justify that.”
Ward found out about it from an email from the city’s lawyers. It was sent in connection with a probate court filing. Samaria Rice found out about it from her lawyers.
“We informed her about it,” Ward said. “We didn’t want her to hear about it from some other source. It really is a cold and callous move, and that’s not the first time. In their response to the civil suit, they blamed Tamir for his own death.”
Another family lawyer, Subodh Chandra, said the bill “adds insult to homicide.”
Tamir was carrying a fake firearm on Nov. 22, 2014 when he was gunned down in a Cleveland park by Officer Timothy Loehmann, who opened fire seconds after hopping out of his patrol car.
The shooting of Rice was set in motion when a 911 caller reported seeing a youth in a park with a gun that was “probably fake.” The dispatcher failed to tell the two responding officers those two key pieces of information.
A grainy surveillance video captured the officers arriving at the scene and Loehmann opening fire from mere feet away, striking Rice once in the chest.
Two independent experts concluded that the shooting was unjustified.