More than a year after a 12-year-old child was fatally shot in a Cleveland, Ohio park and just two months after a grand jury declined to indict the police officer responsible for his death, the city has filed a claim asking Tamir Rice’s estate to pay for his last ambulance ride.
According to the claim, filed Wednesday in Cuyahoga County Probate Court, the estate owes $500 for “emergency medical services rendered as the decedent’s last dying expense” — $450 for “ambulance advance life support and $50 for mileage,” the Washington Postreports.
Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss Cleveland asking the estate of Tamir Rice to pay ambulance and life support bills in the video clip below.
In an email to the Post, a lawyer for the family condemned the claim, calling it insensitive and callous.
“The Rice family is disturbed by the city’s behavior,” Subodh Chandra said. “The callousness, insensitivity, and poor judgment required for the city to send a bill — its own police officers having slain 12-year-old Tamir — is breathtaking.”
He said the act “added insult to homicide.”
In November 2014, Officer Timothy Loehmann and partner Frank Garmback were responding to a 911 call about a man with a gun at the Cleveland recreation center. The 911 caller told the dispatcher the gun was “probably fake,” a detail that failed to make it to officers. Less than two seconds after arriving on scene, Loehmann opened fire, killing Tamir.
The 12-year-old was playing with a pellet gun. He died from injuries to his torso the next day.
While announcing the non-indictment of Loehmann and Garmback last December, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty appeared to blame the child for his own death, repeatedly saying he was “big for his age.” Loehmann, McGinty said, believed the child to be a “man in his 20’s.”
A federal lawsuit filed by Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, against the officers and the city of Cleveland is pending. The claim requests the $500 payment by March 11.