Police

Cleveland Orders Family of 12-Year-Old Cop Victim Tamir Rice to Pay $500 Ambulance Fee [Updated]

No justice, no decency.

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Tamir
Tamir Rice

Cleveland is evidently not finished traumatizing the family of Tamir Rice—the unarmed black 12-year-old boy who was shot to death by cops in a park last year. The city has filed a creditor's claim demanding that Rice's estate pay $500 for emergency medical services provided to Rice as he lay dying of his wounds.

The notion that Rice's family should owe the city anything at this point should infuriate anyone who saw the surveillance footage of Rice's shooting, which happened mere moments after the two officers arrived on scene. After opening fire on the unarmed teens, Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback did nothing to assist him. In fact, they did worse than nothing—they restrained his sister and placed her in their patrol car, preventing her from administering aid to her dying brother. The first person to intervene was an FBI agent who happened across the scene.

An attorney for the Rice family had this to say, according to clevescene.com:

"That the city would submit a bill and call itself a creditor after having had its own police officers slay 12-year-old Tamir displays a new pinnacle of callousness and insensitivity," one of Rice's family attorneys, Subodh Chandra, told Scene this afternoon. "The kind of poor judgment that it takes to do such a thing is nothing short of breathtaking. Who on earth would think this was a good idea and file this on behalf of the city? This adds insult to homicide.

"The mayor and law director should apologize to the Rice family and withdraw this filing immediately," he added.

This adds insult to homicide. Sounds about right. The government, having killed Rice for no reason, and deprived his family of any semblance of justice, is truly sociopathic if it thinks they should pay up.

Updated at 3:15 p.m.: Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson apologized to Rice's family. He said the claim should have been sent to the insurance company, not the family's residence. It has been withdrawn.

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  1. Come on, Rico. Even CNN is reporting that the cops called this retarded too.

    1. Union President Steve Loomis, that is.

    2. Pot, meet the, uh, other retarded pot?

    3. Nothing is stopping the union from picking up the bill.

      1. Nothing is stopping the family’s lawyer from picking it up either. It just seems a little dishonest not to point out that it’s not the cops doing this.

        1. I guess my point really was that I don’t believe a single syllable that comes out of a cop union goon’s mouth. If they were to back their flapping lips with their wallet, maybe . . . .

  2. The government, having killed Rice for no reason, and deprived his family of any semblance of justice, is truly sociopathic if it thinks they should pay up as that is what government attracts and is

    This is government. Enjoy it.

      1. “If you can’t speak the language, go back to Mexico! Where you were born, and are from!”

        1. California was always part of Mexico! Even before New Spain settled it!

    1. Exactly. That sentence is just fine as “The government…is truly sociopathic.

    2. “Government is the 12 year old kids we kill together.”

  3. I’m reminded of a scene in Pat Garret and Billy the Kid.

    Rice’s mother should shoot Loehman with a blunderbuss loaded with nickels, and tell the mayor to fish them out.

    1. Sorry P, but they tested the “shotgun loaded with nickels” scene/myth (this *is* supposedly how the Kid killed Bob Olinger during his jailbreak, according to legend) on Mythbusters and sadly it doesn’t work.

  4. No justice, no decency.

    No hat tip.

    1. There’s a lot of that going around, apparently

      1. No alt-text either. This Robby guy most certainly doesn’t read the comments.

        1. I don’t blame him. What sane person would actually wade into the feces-smeared mental ward that is a links thread?

          1. Professor Farnsworth: You can’t just waltz into the Central Bureaucracy Links. It’s a tangled web of red tape and regulations retardation and hypocrisy. I’ve never been, but a friend of mine went completely mad trying to find the washroom there.

            Leela: Then we’ll need a guide, someone who’s been there before.

            Professor Farnsworth: Oh, I’ve been there. Lots of times. [laughs maniacally]

    2. Robby’s hair hates hat tips. And hats.

  5. Is anyone surprised after the Chicago cop sued the family of the guy he killed? Remember the saying “the best defense is a strong offense”? Well obviously they do.

    1. I hope this isn’t a new pattern.

      1. Count on it.

    2. At least the Chicago case is a civil suit filed by the individual cop who did the shooting. The Chicago PD has already come out saying they don’t support the suit. So, I’m not seeing a pattern, yet.

      Hopefully the judge shoots down that civil suit quicker than the plaintiff shot down his victim.

  6. The government, having killed Rice for no reason, and deprived his family of any semblance of justice, is truly sociopathic if it thinks they should pay up.

    The state? Sociopathic? Well I’ll be damned.

  7. “This adds insult to homicide. Sounds about right. The government, having killed Rice for no reason, and deprived his family of any semblance of justice, is truly sociopathic if it thinks they should pay up.”

    Yep, sounds about right.

  8. Obviously the city wants them to refuse to pay, so it will have an excuse to go storm their home and shoot the rest of them for making such a fuss.

    1. Well, that would take care of their lawsuit, and serve as a warning to anyone else thinking about getting uppity. So I’m thinking it’s already in the works.

    2. Obviously the city wants them to refuse to pay, so it will have an excuse to go storm their home and shoot the rest of them

      They might not be quite so obvious about it. I’m thinking “wrong door” SWAT raid at 3 AM. The fact that it will turn out to be this family will just be a happy coincidence.

    3. So we bypassed debtor’s prison and went straight to debtor’s executions?

    4. Of course they would. Works just fine in Ferguson, MO, right?

  9. sadly it doesn’t work.

    Define “work”; I wouldn’t want to stand in front of that.

    1. They popped a pig carcass with it at short range and it barely even broke skin, that’s how ineffective it was. I’d much rather get hit with that, after seeing the test, than a .22.

    2. The coins don’t provide enough penetration to be fatal. It would hurt like a motherfucker, though.

  10. I don’t know what that family of thugs is complaining about. What’s $500? Like another couple hours slinging rocks on the corner?

    1. It’s not the amount, Hugh. It’s the thuggery and intimidation that matters. They have to stick to their principles, you know?

  11. I can see the city politicians calling for a tax on guns and ammo to pay for EMS transport of those shot by police, that way, they aren’t admitting guilt…(and of course, they won’t tax the cops’ guns and ammo).

  12. As I mentioned last night the German expression for this is Herrschaft des Unrechts (Rule of Injustice). That’s how the DDR regime is referred to today in Germany.

  13. Problem is that there are too many cops now (thanks to Bill Clinton’s crime bill) and they are BORED, so they look to start trouble.

  14. Mr. Helpmann: I understand this concern on behalf of the tax payers. People want value for money. That’s why we always insist on the principle of Information Retrieval charges. It’s absolutely right and fair that those found guilty should pay for their periods of detention and for the Information Retrieval Procedures used in their interrogation.

    Brazil

  15. The government … is truly sociopathic

    Yes, it is.

  16. the German expression for this is Herrschaft des Unrechts (Rule of Injustice). That’s how the DDR regime is referred to today in Germany.

    But everyone was EQUALLY miserable, and that’s what really matters!

    BERNIEBOTS FOR JUSTICE

  17. You know, this, the Tami Rice case, is something the BLM movement should actually be rioting over, but they’re not. Why isn’t Cleveland in flames right now?

    I honestly wonder if they haven’t hit as heavily on this case because too many whites are sympathetic to it. It’s hard to claim racism when all the whites are agreeing with you.

    1. Tamir, not Tami. My kingdom for an edit feature.

    2. It’s hard to claim racism when all the whites are agreeing with you.

      Answered your own question as to why there is no BLM uproar over this.

      1. I know. But that’s so discouraging. You’d like to think some of them cared more about justice than racial divisiveness. More evidence that the entire movement is a plot to divide and conquer.

        There was another even more egregious case within a month or so of Tamir Rice near Springfield, OH. A black shopper had picked up an airsoft gun from the sporting goods shelves in Wal-Mart and was walking around the store, talking on his cell phone. Some moron called the cops and reported a man with a gun. The cops ran in, shouted at the guy, who was just standing there, talking on his cell phone. They gave him no time to comply. He started to turn toward the shouting and they shot him dead.

        It was horrendous and all caught on clear video.

        Of course, cops were cleared and you never heard anything about it in the national media again.

        1. I remember that case. What’s particularly egregious about it is that airsoft guns are toys. They’re not BB guns; they fire soft plastic beads that won’t break the skin. People shoot each other with them, paintball-style.

    3. I honestly wonder if they haven’t hit as heavily on this case because too many whites are sympathetic to it.

      Pretty much, yeah. You can’t divide and conquer if the people you want to conquer aren’t divided.

    4. Because, that wouldn’t generate the racial disparity they’re seeking.

    5. You are correct.

      This case doesnt enable the kind of division and strife that the BLM people are looking for.

    6. It’s because BLM is fundamentally a Progressive/SJW movement, and Tamir Rice’s case heavily involves gun rights. Anecdotal, I know, but I know a lot of people who are passionate about 2A advocacy and…how to put this…not down with the brown, so to speak…who see this as a case of a citizen exercising lawful rights being gunned down by the state. If Tamir didn’t have an air gun (which, as far as I understand it, he had every legal right to have in public) and was holding a cell phone, wallet, or Wii-mote, BLM would be all over it.

    7. Maybe they didn’t need to riot because attention is already on the case. There have been protests in Cleveland about the case, they just didn’t turn violent because everyone except a few shitbags here and there were already outraged by what happened.

    8. Black Lives matter has protested this in Cleveland. But the movement in that city certainly seems weak.

    9. BLM has protested in Cleveland. And they also tried to pressure Lebron to sit out a game after the cops were cleared. All of 5 seconds of googling.

      So shorter Reason commenter; BLM riots, it proves they’re free shitlooterracists. BLM has peaceful organized protests, tries to apply economic pressure on the city, it proves they’re free shitlooterracists.

      1. *eyeroll*

        There’s more of that racial healing I’ve heard so much about.

        How about “Their response in Cleveland seems very weak,proportionately, to their responses in Baltimore and Ferguson, and it’s an honest question as to why the responses are so different.”

        Maybe the population in Cleveland is just more level-headed than in those other places. You really wouldn’t know it, looking at Cleveland.

        Maybe, as SugarFree said, they didn’t riot because attention is already on the case, but that’s not persuasive to me either.The cops got away with murder of a far more sympathetic victim than either Michael Brown or Freddie Gray by a white cop with known issues, but it seems like, comparatively, the people of Cleveland are just rolling over and accepting it. Whatever attention is on the case doesn’t seem to be getting the results they want, so why would their response be more measured than with Brown or Gray?

        1. This is why it is essential to distinguish protests from riots.

          The looting in Baltimore was not a protest about Freddie Gray’s death. The fact that dozens of pharmacies in the city limits were emptied ought to give that away.

          Both junyo and you have points at the heart of your posts, but everything else is just clouding up the matter. We should not be expecting to see rioting in Cleveland; I mean, really, WTF? Do you want to see innocent people harmed and their property stolen and/or destroyed?

          Nor should we be associating riots with Tamir Rice’s death. There are a lot of people who will never see that case as anything other than a “legitimate shooting” but there are a lot more people, I think, ignorant of it or on the fence about it. The best way to keep the right kind of attention on the case is not to go apeshit but to respond in measured tones and act like adults.

          However, I think it’s worth noting that it seems like a large swath of the #BLM hashtag hangers-on are either Marxists or criminals (or both).

        2. Whatever attention is on the case doesn’t seem to be getting the results they want, so why would their response be more measured than with Brown or Gray?

          Because maybe black people aren’t a monolithic hivemind? Maybe the people that organized in Cleveland were better prepared and more level headed than the folks in Baltimore and Ferguson, who let legitimate protests get undermined and de-legitimized by allowing chaos to creep in? Since large swaths of the population already believe that all BLM is is ‘free shitlooterracists’, what’s the upside in rioting in Cleveland?

          What’s the upside of anything other than despair because, legitimately, your option set is:
          – Protest, burn shit down, prove that the police were probably right to shoot you
          – Protest, don’t burn shit down, prove that you’re a racist who hates cops, and the media largely ignores you
          – Business as usual
          Reason is about as friendly a place as you can get to the idea that maybe the cops didn’t need to shot random person X, and any given thread still has tons of people advancing positions 1 and 2 whenever BLM is mentioned. So there’s no winning.

          1. So there’s no winning.

            What are you trying to win? Are you trying to win some accountability from the police? Are you trying to win some sympathy and attention from outsiders? Are you trying to advance #BLM as a movement/organization?

            The people with the most power to accomplish the first of those are at the local level. You don’t need to convince the average American to change Cleveland, you need to convince the average Clevelander.

            Much of the criticism heaped upon #BLM is well deserved, which is what makes it a poor vehicle for this cause. The Catch-22 that you seem to think exists dissolves away when you separate criminal acts from legitimate protest.

            1. The Catch-22 that you seem to think exists dissolves away when you separate criminal acts from legitimate protest.

              In which case the widely agreed with dismissal by claim of racism against the largely non-criminal BLM protests in Cleveland would not have happened. Yet they demonstrably did.

  18. Is it common for cities to demand reimbursement for emergency services directly from the individual benefiting from those services?

    1. I don’t know how common it is, but I’ve experienced it first hand. My car was stolen about ten years ago and used in a robbery. About two months later I received a fat envelope in the mail containing a bill for $450 in alleged damages to the cop car that was involved in the pursuit. I say “alleged” because also included were a bunch of grainy, low-res black and white photos of the cop car. They looked like copies of copies of copies where you couldn’t make out anything at all. My guess was that the damage to the car was negligible and that the PD was just fishing for a cash grab from an unquestioning sucker. I said “fuck it,” tore it up and threw it in the trash. The fact that it has never been sent to collections or shown up on my credit report leads me to believe that my hunch was correct.

      1. I would have mailed it back with one penny in the envelop.

        1. I thought about that too but figured it best to not acknowledge my receipt of it at all.

        2. Bad idea. That acknowledges receipt and understanding of the notice.

  19. It’s also profoundly stupid which also underlines the problem of government power. Any group with a 10% competent PR person would have said, “Shit, don’t release that bill. We’ll just pay it to avoid any more bad publicity.”

    1. Well, clearly they’re suffering from a lack of resources such that they can’t afford competent PR people. The city clearly needs to raise taxes.

    2. Why? Government doesn’t require PR. They have a legally sacrosanct monopoly on 100% of the constituency. PR is for organisations that can actually be challenged. They can charge whatever the hell they want, so from that perspective, it would be stupid not to.

  20. something something this

    1. $500 to avoid the outrage this will cause is peanuts. Very, very stupid.

      1. Yes. The negative blowback is tremendous. The cop union should anonymously pay this bill asap.

        1. Ha. The union boss vehemently supported the shooting.

    2. Agreed.

      Someone needs to man up.

    3. Ten of them lined up in the open field outside Nuremberg, PA would look just lovely.

      Even better when filled with the convicts of the Drug War Crimes Tribunal.

  21. So, is Cleveland going to demand reimbursement for the bullets too?

    1. Yup and costs for scrubbing up the blood on the ground, no doubt.

    2. If I was the family’s lawyer, I would pay the ambulance bill, and add on an amount for the bullets.

      My press conference would be epic.

  22. I’m certainly not advocating violence, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Cleveland police and/or city officials become targets of violence as a result of this sort of thing. I might even go so far as to say that such a response would be perfectly understandable. Killing a person and then extorting the family is about as clear a declaration of hostile intent as you can make, after all.

    1. As I sit next to my 8-month-old napping daughter, however, I’ll happily go on record and say that if she was in Tamir Rice’s shoes I would start walking towards the city police department and shoot anyone in a uniform I saw. I can easily imagine what the family’s going through and I’m amazed at the grace with which they’re handling the situation. I would become a horror film.

  23. I estimate that the civil suit settlement that will be paid to the Rice family just doubled.

  24. Soooo, what’s the suggested alternative to the city enforcing a law on its books, allowing city bureaucrats to decide for themselves whether or not to enforce the laws?

    There are a lot of stupid laws, but the way to deal with them is to get rid of them legislatively, not by allowing unelected bureaucrats (who never, never, never have abused their offices for personal gain) to decide which laws will and won’t be enforced.

  25. I found this, which shed some light on the callous mishandling that created the misunderstanding and the resultant grief for the Rice family which Robby reported on: “Mayor Frank Jackson and city officials attempted to explain the Tamir Rice billing debacle in a press conference Thursday morning.

    Jackson stressed that no bill was ever sent to Tamir Rice’s family and that the city had no intention of collecting money from the Rice estate for Tamir’s emergency transport after he was shot by a Cleveland police….”

    “Jackson said that a bill is always generated when emergency transport is thus used, and that it is sent to the insurer. In this instance, the insurer was Medicaid, who paid about $180.

    Finance Director Sharon Dumas said the city absorbed the remainder of the cost and that the file was then closed.

    ‘We never sent a bill to the Rice family. We never intended to send a bill to the Rice family. We never wanted to collect money from the Rice family,’ Jackson said.

    He said that but for a request from Douglas Winston, the executor of the Tamir Rice estate – a request that Cleveland’s chief legal counsel Rick Horvath said Winston was legally obligated to make – the city never would have re-opened the claim.” [emphasis mine/Charles’]

    continued in next post

    1. Jackson said that the request should have been red-flagged. He attributed the oversight to the rigors of routine.
      “‘We collect $12-15 million per year from insurance companies on this,’ Jackson said. ‘Nothing happened here other than people doing what they do every day. People don’t look at every little thing. When you get into a bureaucratic routine, there’s always things that slip through the cracks.'”

      “Jackson said that the city intends to withdraw the claim and will do so promptly, but according to their standard processes. He and others sincerely apologized if the claim – which he would not categorize as a mistake – added to the Rice family’s grief and pain. Some reporters reminded Jackson that whatever the city’s intentions were, it looked as though they were trying to collect money. WKYC’s Tom Beres asked if Jackson were concerned about the negative headlines.

      ‘My concern is how accurate you portray this situation,’ he said, addressing the media. ‘There’s not much I can do about a day or even a week’s worth of headlines. All I can do is tell you the truth. Should it have happened? No. Did anyone do anything wrong? No.'”

      1. When you get into a bureaucratic routine, there’s always things that slip through the cracks.

        Jeezus tapdancing christ.

      2. Should it have happened? No. Did anyone do anything wrong? No.'”

        Procedures were followed.

      3. This was a “fuck you” for the lawsuit that backfired big time.

  26. “The mayor and law director should apologize to the Rice family and withdraw this filing immediately commit sepeku.

    FTFY, Mr. Lawyer.

  27. Nice to see Reason Saves Cleveland had an impact, amirite?

      1. Cleveland sucks!

  28. That is a cheap ambulance fee. In SF it’s about $7000, perhaps because of all the free service they give to drunken and stoned bums. Some of them use it as basically a taxi service to emergency rooms.

  29. the executor of the Tamir Rice estate

    Would someone explain how a minor can have an “estate”?

    1. Anyone who dies can have an estate – if their are claims, litigation, etc. An executor would represent the interests of the deceased, handle debts, assets, claims, etc.

      Don’t mix up “estate” with “assets given away in a will”…

      1. Ah, thanks.

  30. This does not surprise me

  31. To paraphrase the opening of a certain comedy show:

    Cleveland sucks!
    Cleveland sucks!
    Cleveland sucks!
    Cleveland sucks!
    (Donkey dick)

  32. “the unarmed black 12-year-old boy who was shot to death by cops in a park last year.”

    You’re a liar. He had a fake gun with the orange tip removed to look like a real gun. When the cops pulled up, he lifted up his shirt and reached for the (fake) gun. That’s when cops opened fire.

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    All we need is a mobile or PC with a very good internet connection. There are many applications by which we can enjoy videos, our missed programs, live streaming etc.

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