Cleveland bills Tamir Rice’s family for his final ambulance ride
The city of Cleveland has filed a claim against the estate of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy killed by a police officer in 2014, for his final ambulance ride.
“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.”
The $500 claim and invoice, obtained by CNN, was filed on Wednesday and lists November 22, 2014, as the date of call. It was the day Tamir Rice was shot by Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann outside a recreation center.
Loehmann, an officer-in-training, shot the boy as he pulled out what was later found to be a toy gun.
The family’s outrage over the ambulance bill found a sympathetic ear at the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association. The police union has supported the officer’s handling of the shooting.
“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 his own fault.
Cleveland authorities have repeatedly said that Loehmann mistook Tamir’s fake gun for a real one.
Video of the incident shows a patrol car pull up on the snowy grass near a gazebo where Tamir is standing. Within seconds of arriving on the scene, Loehmann shoots the boy.
In late December, an Ohio grand jury decided not to indict Loehmann and his partner Frank Garmback. The incident was a “perfect storm of human error, mistakes and communications” that did not reach the point of criminality, prosecutor Tim McGinty said.
A federal review of the case is ongoing.
CNN’s Keith Allen, Sonia Moghe and Dominique Dodley contributed to this report.