On Nov. 2, 2014, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer while he played with a toy gun in a park near his home. No officer was ever charged in the shooting, and on Wednesday, some 15 months after his death, Cleveland charged the Rice family $500 for Tamir’s final ambulance ride. News of the ambulance bill shocked not only the Rice family but also the police union that fought to clear the officers involved in Tamir’s death.
“Subodh Chandra and I have never agreed on anything until now,” police union President Steve Loomis told Fox 8, referring to the Rice family’s lawyer. “It is unconscionable that the city of Cleveland would send that bill to the Rice family. Truly disappointing, but not at all surprising.”
Chandra told CNN that sending an ambulance bill to the Rice family “adds insult to homicide.”
“The callousness, insensitivity and poor judgment required for the city to send a bill … is breathtaking,” Chandra said.
He added that Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, feels that the $500 invoice for her son’s ambulance ride amounts to harassment.
According to CNN, a federal review of the case is ongoing, but a grand jury declined to indict the two officers who responded to the scene. The Rice family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Cleveland.
City spokesman Dan Williams had little to say to CNN about the ambulance bill, noting only that the case is “ongoing litigation, and we do not comment on ongoing litigation.”