Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tamir Rice Ambulance Billing FIasco: City Won't Seek Money From Family After All

The city of Cleveland is suing the family of
Tamir Rice, trying to claw back  $500
ambulance bill for the kid after the city's police
 fatally shot him. 

The Mayor of Cleveland finally responded to this mess and says this whole thing was a mixup.

And more importantly, Tamir Rice's family won't be billed for the ambulance after all.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said the bill had been previously canceled, but the executor of the Tamir Rice estate had they needed a copy of the billing statement to deal with Medicaid paperwork.

This made it look like the Rice family was being billed, but that wasn't the intention,  Jackson said.

He added that the city would look at its procedures so this doesn't happen again.

To me, this looks like it could be classic backpedaling by the city, but of course I can't prove that. The most important thing is the Rice family won't be hounded to pay this bill


Pretty much everybody hates what happened with Tamir Rice, the 12 year old kids in Cleveland who was gunned down by police in 2014.

Cleveland Police shot Tamir after he was seen playing with what looked liked a gun, but was a replica in a Cleveland Park.

A grand jury did not indict the officers who shot the kid, but Tamir's family is suing the city, in part because officers did not give him any emergency aid after he was shot.

An FBI agent, then an ambulance crew eventually showed up and tried to save him, but were not able to.

Now, his family was just slapped with a $500 past-due notice for the ambulance ride Tamir got after he was shot.

Says Cleveland Scene:

"'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,' of of Rice's family attorneys, Subodh Chandra, told Scene this afternooon. 'This kind of poor judgement that it takes to do such a thing is nothing short of breathtaking. Who on earth would think this is a good idea and file this on behalf of the city? This adds insult to homicide.'"

I'll tell you who would do this:  Somebody in the city wanted to send a message to anybody who would object to police shooting any young black teen or man. Anywhere.

So they try to make it as horrible for Rice's family as possible. To tell the rest of the black community nationwide: If we white officers shoot your black teenager, shut up about it. Don't make a stink. And for God's sake don't do the Black Lives Matter thing. reported that no city officials would comment so far on the ambulance bill. The city told other media outlets it doesn't comment on pending litigation, which is of course a weasly way out.

That's typical too. The Mafia doesn't exactly fall all over itself responding to media requests.

I'm obviously not saying most cities or police agencies act like the Mob. The overwhelming majority do not. I shouldn't even have to say it, it's so obvious, but to a few, the attitude is if you criticize one aspect of police work in one community, you hate all police.

In this case, it's not the Cleveland Police union that's instigating this latest outrage. The union president, Steve Loomis, sharply criticized the city for billing Rice's family for the ambulance, and found rare agreement with Chandra.

Note that Loomis called Rice an adult in a kids body who caused his own death. That he would blast the city for sending the ambulance bill definitely says something

Television station Fox 8 in Cleveland, quoted Loomis saying this:

"'Subodh Chandra and I have never agreed on anything until now. It is unconscionable that the City of Cleveland would send that bill to the Rice familu. Truly disappointing but unfortunately not surprising."

Still, it's extremely disturbing that when somebody rightfully objects to moments when white police officers kill black people when it's apparent said black person is not an immediate threat, somebody retaliates against those who complain. Like the Mafia.

It's happened before, just recently.

Chicago Police officer Robert Rialmo sued the family of Quintonio LaGrier for $10 million last week.  LaGrier was a mentally ill teen who police shot after LaGrier's father called police during the disturbance. During that incident, police also shot and killed a downstairs neighbor.

Rialmo says the shooting, and a wrongful death lawsuit the LaGrier family filed, has caused him "emotional trauma."

Poor thing.

Rialmo's suit says LaGrier swung a baseball bat at him several times, just missing him. So, according to the suit, it was LaGrier's fault that he died.

Rialmo's attorney, Joel Brodsky said the fact that LaGrier's family filed a lawsuit so quickly makes Rialto want to point out that "having a relative killed in an officer-involved shoting is not the same thing as winning the lottery."

Yeah, I'm sure that's whaty LaGrier's father called the cops. He saw an opportunity to win the lottery.

Maybe LaGrier's family should sue again, for the emotional distress of having Rialto act like the thug he apparently is.

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