Cleveland To Tamir Rice: Being Dead Is No Excuse For Being A Deadbeat

Pay up, kid

Look, being shot to death by police doesn't get you off the hook when it comes to paying your medical bills. At least according to the City of Cleveland, which filed a notice with the probate court Wednesday, demanding that the estate of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old who was shot to death by police for the crime of playing with his toy gun in a park, pay the "past due" expense of his ambulance ride to the hospital.

It feels necessary to assure you at this time that we are not kidding.

In December, a grand jury determined that Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann was justified in killing a child for openly carrying a toy gun in the open-carry state of Ohio because that little boy was coming right for him, with his blackness, and Officer Loehmann feared for his life. As one does, when one spots a black child playing alone in a park.

[contextly_sidebar id="LifJB4QtRqChpeaA68dEL7Sl8MUNu5ld"]After Loehmann shot Tamir Rice twice, and after he and his partner Frank Garmback wrestled Rice's 14-year-old sister to the ground, cuffed her, and stuck her in the back of their cruiser for the crime of rushing to her dying brother's side -- no doubt also out of self-defense from her teenage blackness -- the dying child finally received medical attention from an FBI agent who happened to be in the neighborhood. And then the ambulance arrived, administered 450 bucks' worth of "Ambulance Advance Life Support" (plus mileage!), and delivered the child to the Metrohealth Medical Center, where it was too late to save his life.

But that doesn't mean the city isn't owed $500 for its efforts, and that bill has been outstanding for more than a year, so it's long past time to pay up "for emergency medical services rendered as the decedent's last dying expense."

Yeah, the law's the law and blah blah blah, and according to the city, it is entitled to reimbursement under "Ohio Revised Code §2117.25(A)(5)," but on the other hand, what even THE FUCK? As Rice's family attorney Subodh Chandra put it:

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.

We shudder to imagine what other debts the city thinks Tamir Rice's grieving family owes. Certainly, the officer who shot him dead must have received some counseling. Maybe the Rice family ought to foot the bill for that too. And the city did spend more than a year investigating his death, only to conclude he was kinda asking for it. Maybe the dead child's estate should reimburse Cleveland for the cost of the investigation.

Or maybe -- crazy idea -- the city of Cleveland should immediately apologize, withdraw this bullshit creditor's claim, and leave the Rice family alone. It's already done quite enough for one brief lifetime, don't you think?

[Cleveland Scene]


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