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Cleveland Just Demanded Tamir Rice's Family Pay $500 for His Ambulance Bills

The city's claim comes two months after a grand jury failed to indict the officers who shot 12-year-old Rice as he played with a toy gun in a park.
Photo by Mark Lennihan/AP

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The City of Cleveland has filed a claim against the estate of Tamir Rice for $500 for emergency medical services given to the 12-year-old after police fatally shot the boy while he played with a toy gun in a park with his sister.

The claim was filed less than two months after a grand jury failed to indict the rookie police officer who shot Rice on November 22, 2014.


"The Rice family is disturbed by the city's behavior," Rice family attorney Subodh Chandra said in a statement to WKYC.

"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," Chandra said in the statement. "This adds insult to homicide. The Rice family considers this a form of harassment."

Related: Cleveland Grand Jury Declines to Indict Cops Who Shot Tamir Rice

The claim states that the $500 "is past due and owing for emergency medical services rendered as the decedent's last dying expense."

In announcing the grand jury's decision on the fate of the police officers in December, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty said at a press conference that the shooting was "a perfect storm of human error," but that it was "indisputable" that Rice appeared to be drawing a gun from his waistband — even if it was a toy weapon.

"Simply put, given this perfect storm of human error, mistakes, and miscommunications by all involved that day, the evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police," McGinty said.

The morning of the shooting on November 22, 2014, officers were dispatched to respond to a 911 call reporting someone who had been seen in the area with a weapon. The caller noted that the weapon was "probably fake," but the police dispatcher handling the call did not relay this last detail.

A federal civil rights lawsuit filed by the family against the two officers and the city of Cleveland is still pending.

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