In a final act of insensitivity, the city of Cleveland has filed a claim against the estate of Tamir Rice for his ambulance ride after being shot and killed by Cleveland police officers. The city is suing the Rice family for unpaid emergency medical care bills.
The claims says the family owes $450 for ‘advance life support’ and $50 for the ambulance ride to the hospital where Tamir died.
The $500 invoice, which was filed yesterday (Wednesday 02/10/16), lists November 22, 2014 as the date of call. The day Tamir Rice was shot by two police officers, 26-year-old Timothy Loehmann and 46-year-old Frank Garmback, responding to a police dispatch call “of a male black sitting on a swing and pointing a gun at people” in a city park.
“The Rice family is disturbed by the city’s behavior. The callousness, insensitivity and poor judgment required for the city to send a bill … is breathtaking,” family attorney Subodh Chandra said. “This adds insult to homicide. Ms. Rice considers this harassment.”
Even the the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, who has supported the officer’s handling of the shooting, agreed that sending the family a bill for the ambulance ride was a poor decision.
“Subodh Chandra and I have never agreed on anything until now,” Steve Loomis, president of the police union, told CNN affiliate WJW. “It is unconscionable that the City of Cleveland would send that bill to the Rice family. Truly disappointing but unfortunately not surprising.”
The city had little to say about the development.
“This is ongoing litigation, and we do not comment about ongoing litigation,” said city spokesman Dan Williams.
The Rice family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city in the case.
In the city’s 41-page response, it said Tamir’s death was his own fault.