City of Cleveland issues new policy following Tamir Rice EMS bill

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CLEVELAND - The City of Cleveland has issued a new policy following Tamir Rice's family mistakenly being billed for the EMS service used after he was shot.

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According to a City of Cleveland Memorandum, the changes are now in effect.

Effective immediately, any licenses, permits, insurance claims and/or invoices of any type, along with all pertinent documentation, whether open or closed, that may be subject to potential court activity must be submitted to the Commissioner and/or Assistant Commissioner with two (2) business days of request receipt.

Upon submission, there will be a review and written response regarding next steps by the Commissioner and/or Assistant Commissioner. These steps will include clear instruction as to the appropriate process. Equally, the Department of Law specifically the Director, Chief Corporate Counsel and/or Chief Assistant Directors of Law will be required to review and provide response on all potential court activity associated with all insurance claims and/or invoices effective immediately on February 11, 2016.

The attorney for Tamir's Rice family issued the following statement after the changes:

The so-called policy change is feel-good, bureaucratic gobbledygook that has nothing to do with what happened—namely that Tamir Rice's estate (that is, effectively, his family) faced a $500 creditor claim by the city in court for EMS service that was necessary only because another city employee fatally shot the child. Medicaid had already paid EMS, and trying to collect the balance may be Medicaid fraud, because Medicaid requires its payments to be payment in full—the provider can't go ask for more. The city didn't just try to collect the supposed balance—it tried to collect even that which Medicaid had already reimbursed it. And the city did so long after the six-month statute of limitations had elapsed, so, from the Rice family's viewpoint, the filing was an exercise in harassment.

The actual policy change should be a directive to cure bad judgment, inhumane treatment, and incompetency. But that's what led to Tamir's death in the first place."

Tamir Rice, 12, was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer Nov. 22, 2014 outside of the Cudell Recreation Center.

Police thought the gun Tamir had was real, it was an airsoft pistol that police say looked like a real gun.

In December, a grand jury decided not to indict two Cleveland police officers in the shooting death of Rice. The grand jurors met for several weeks before making a decision on the case.

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