February 11, 2016
(ANTIMEDIA) Cleveland, Ohio — The City of Cleveland stooped to a new low in the Tamir Rice shooting case on Wednesday, when it filed a creditor’s claim in probate court for $500. The city claims Rice’s family still hasn’t paid for the emergency services rendered after the 12-year-old was shot by a cop.
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The city’s notice contends the Rice family is responsible “for emergency medical services rendered as the decedent’s last dying expense under Ohio Revised Code.” Listed in the bill are $450 for “advanced life support” and $50 for mileage the ambulance covered when it transported Tamir to the hospital.
One of several attorneys for the Rice family, Subodh Chandra, told the Cleveland Scene in disbelief:
“That the city would submit a bill and call itself a creditor for 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.” He added, “The mayor and law director should apologize to the Rice family and withdraw this filing immediately.”
In December 2015, the City of Cleveland declined to prosecute Officer Timothy Loehmann — whose “patrol car [was] still in the process of stopping,” a municipal court judge previously noted, when he leapt out and shot the 12-year-old where he stood in a park playing with a toy gun in November 2014. The city’s decision not to prosecute Loehmann came after a grand jury refused to indict him for the fatal shooting.
Cleveland has been vehemently and widely lambasted for its handling of Tamir Rice’s shooting, which, as the Scene noted, included a routine legal filing that at one point claimed Tamir caused his own death. The city was forced to apologize for that assertion.
A second lawyer for the Rice family, Earl Ward, told the New York Daily News he was shocked to see the city’s claim for emergency services expenses.
“It was cold and callous and disrespectful of a family who is still grieving, especially on the heels of the grand jury decision,” he said. “It’s a $500 bill and the city is responsible for his death so I don’t see how they could justify that.”
Ward learned of the claim through an email from the city’s attorneys, and then informed Samaria Rice, because, he explained, “We didn’t want her to hear about it from some other source. It is a really cold and callous move and that’s not the first time. In their response to the civil suit [the family previously filed], they blamed Tamir for his own death.”
Two independent experts, as well as municipal court Judge Ronald Adrine have all determined the shooting was unjustified. Despite the ultimate outcome of the case, Adrine previously found grounds in June 2015 to charge Loehmann with the murder of Tamir Rice.
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