The family of slain teen Tamir Rice, the young boy who was gunned down by police on a Cleveland playground, is being billed for the ambulance ride to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The City of Cleveland is forcing the estate of Rice, who was only 12 years old when he was shot and killed by an officer in 2014, to pay $500 to cover “ambulance advance life support” and other medical expenses, including mileage, related to Rice’s ride to the hospital the day he was shot.
Subodh Chandra, an attorney representing members of Rice’s family in their ongoing civil suit against the city, said in a statement emailed to Mashable:
“The Rice family is disturbed by the city’s behavior. The callousness, insensitivity, and poor judgment required for the city to send a bill after its own police officers killed 12-year-old Tamir is breathtaking. This adds insult to homicide. Ms. Rice considers this harassment.”
As if the pain of their son’s senseless death was not enough, this decision comes just two months after Cleveland Police officers involved in Rice’s shooting death were cleared of any charges in connection with the boy’s death.
In November, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office called Rice’s death tragic but the result of a “reasonable” use of force by police.
Rice had been playing with a toy gun at a park and a fellow park visitor had reported it by calling 911. The caller said that Rice’s gun might have been fake and that the boy was likely a juvenile, but the dispatcher didn’t relay that information to Loehmann and the other officer.