Tag Archives: Cleveland

City of Cleveland Apologizes for Sending Ambulance Bill to Tamir Rice’s Family

One day after sending the family of Tamir Rice a “last dying expense” bill, the city of Cleveland has issued an apology and stated that the move was unintentional.

The city of Cleveland filed a creditor’s claim on Wednesday, which sought to receive payment from the estate of Tamir Rice for emergency services rendered after he was shot by Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann.

The creditor’s claim, for $500, was for “owing for emergency medical services rendered as the decedent’s last dying expense under Ohio Revised Code §2117.25(A)(5),” according to city documents provided by multiple news outlets.

The claim shows a bill for services including “Ambulance Advance Life Support” and for mileage.

Creditor's Claim by WKYC.com

Rice, 12, was shot by Loehmann on November 22, 2014 at the Cudell Recreation Center, following a 911 call from an individual who reported a person holding a gun that was “probably fake.” That detail was not relayed to police, and Loehmann shot Rice, who was in possession of a plastic pellet gun, within seconds of arriving at the scene.

(Read more about the case here.)

Multiple reports from various news organizations including Cleveland.com state that after Rice was shot, he laid on the ground for several minute as the officers stood around nearby before a passerby, identifying himself as an FBI agent, began to administer first aid to Rice. Rice’s sister, Tajai, witnessed the shooting and had been handcuffed and placed in the police cruiser as Rice remained on the ground.

The video below shows the aftermath of the shooting.

The FBI agent was also a trained paramedic, and he told Cleveland.com that he arrived at the scene after he heard information on his radio about a shooting that had taken place. The agent also said that Loehmann and Garmback “wanted to do something, but they didn’t know what to do.” Cleveland.com noted that the FBI agent described a grisly scene, as Rice’s “intestines were exposed through a wound to the torso.”

Subodh Chandra, the attorney for the Rice family, condemned the city’s choice to send a bill and pursue payment through a creditor’s claim. “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. The Rice family considers this a form of harassment,” Chandra said in a statement.

Following Chandra’s statement, Cleveland city officials are now saying that the bill has been withdrawn.

According to CBS News, “Mayor Frank Jackson and other city officials apologized to the family Thursday and told the media that the filing was made to Rice’s medical insurance company as part of a routine procedure, but the bill was not intended to be sent to the Rice family.”

“No intent or no sending of a bill to the Tamir Rice family. Medicaid paid their portion; we closed the account and absorbed the rest. When the state asked for the information.. then it generated the other side of the process that reopened it, and sent that bill to the state,” Jackson said in a press conference Thursday, according to news station Fox8 in Cleveland.

Cleveland Judge Finds Probable Cause For Murder Charges In Tamir Rice Shooting

A Cleveland municipal court judge ruled on Thursday that there is probable cause to charge two Cleveland police officers in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. Rice was shot and killed by police on Nov. 22, 2014, while he was playing with a pellet gun at a park in Cleveland.

Judge Ronald Adrine issued a ruling that stated he found probable cause to charge Officer Timothy Loehmann, who shot Rice, with “murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide and dereliction of duty,” and he also found probable cause to charge a second officer on the scene, Officer Frank Garmback, with “negligent homicide and dereliction of duty.”

Adrine noted that although the municipal court determined that “complaints should be filed by the prosecutor of the City of Cleveland and/or the Cuyahoga County prosecutor,” the court’s role is only “advisory in nature,” and it is ultimately up to the City Prosecutor to “decide to issue felony complaints in the Cleveland Municipal Court based upon his acceptance of the court’s determination that there is probable cause to believe certain accusations found in the affidavits posted against these Patrol Officers.”

The New York Times reported that county prosecutor, Timothy McGinty, released a statement in response to the court’s ruling, indicating that he would not be “rushed into filing a criminal complaint.”

“This case, as with all other fatal use-of-deadly-force cases involving law enforcement officers, will go to the grand jury,” McGinty said. “That has been the policy of this office since I was elected. Ultimately, the grand jury decides whether police officers are charged or not charged.”

As Truth In Media previously reported, the family of Tamir Rice filed a lawsuit on Jan. 30, stating that Rice’s death and subsequent injuries suffered by his family were “directly and proximately caused” by officers Loehmann and Garmback.

While the city of Cleveland’s response noted that it was unable to respond in full due to the ongoing investigation, it did cite 20 defenses, with one including the allegation that Rice’s death was caused by his failure to “exercise due care to avoid injury.”

In April, attorneys for Loehmann and Garmback asked a federal judge to halt a lawsuit filed against them, until the criminal investigation into their actions has been completed. In response, Rice’s family filed a motion on May 4, in objection to the request, stating that delays in the lawsuit will hurt their case.

While Adrine’s ruling claimed that the video surveillance from the incident was low in quality, it does acknowledge the fact that after Rice is shot, nearly four minutes pass where he is left lying on the ground, and when his sister arrives on the scene, she is “restrained from going to her brother’s side.”

The video shows Rice’s 14-year-old sister rushing to her brother’s side, and then being thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and placed in a police cruiser by Garmback. She is then forced to wait in the cruiser, and to watch while police stand around, without attempting to provide any first aid to her brother.

“This has to be the cruelest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Walter Madison, an attorney for the Rice family, who called the video “shocking and outrageous.”