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Controversy of the Day

The Cleveland mayor apologized to Tamir Rice’s family for that ambulance bill


Cleveland tried to bill Tamir Rice's family for the medical services he needed after cops shot him. (Tim Evanson/Flickr)

The family of Tamir Rice--the young black boy who was fatally shot by Cleveland police in 2014, in a park where he was playing with a toy gun--just got a bill from the city for $500 for his ambulance ride.

The city filed a claim to be reimbursed $450 for "ambulance advanced life support," and another $50 for the mileage.

Obviously, the Rice family and their supporters found this incredibly insensitive, considering the city of Cleveland was the reason he needed the ambulance in the first place.

Back in November of 2014, Tamir Rice was fatally shot by Officer Timothy Loehmann while playing with a toy gun in a Cleveland park. A 911 caller had reported Rice, but mentioned he looked like a kid and that the gun might've been fake. Still, cops shot him within seconds of rolling up on the scene. A grand jury declined to indict the officers involved.

Subodh Chandra, an attorney for the family 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. This adds insult to homicide."

Mayor Frank Jackson must've heard the complaints and apologized during a news conference. He basically said it was an automatic billing and it shouldn't have happened. Oops.

"It was a mistake in terms of us flagging it, but not a mistake in terms of the legal process."

The city absorbed the $500, a charge that was actually listed as Rice's "last dying expense."

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The Cleveland mayor apologized to Tamir Rice’s family for that ambulance bill

Christina Buff

Christina is a freelance writer from a tiny town in Southern Maryland who just can't seem to figure out whether others are being sarcastic or not. She has a degree in business communication, with a focus in writing, from Stevenson University, and has written things for Severna Park Voice, Maryland Film Festival, The Villager, and Hello Giggles. Follow her on twitter @tinaBUFF where she constantly overthinks her tweets, or read her medley of musings at touchinfinity.wordpress.com.

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