CLEVELAND– City officials addressed the issue as to why a claim for ambulance services was filed against the estate of Tamir Rice.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said no bill was ever sent to the Tamir 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 during a press conference on Thursday.
Jackson went on to explain the process. “Some insurance companies will pay the whole bill; others, like Medicaid, are limited in what they will pay. The policy of the City is whenever the likelihood of collecting the balance is nill, you recognize that and write it off. Someone should have flagged this– in this case.”
The Mayor also apologized to the Rice family if this incident has added to their grief.
Subodh Chandra, attorney for the Rice family, released the following statement following the press conference:
“The suggestion that that the estate-administrator sending a routine public-records request to the city about a child’s death would then result in the city filing a court claim—particularly when the city’s own police officers killed the child and the claim is already time-barred under Ohio law—makes no sense to the Rice family. This was a deeply disturbing incident to them.”
**Click here for the letter the attorney sent to the City of Cleveland asking them to withdraw the “insensitive and callous claim.” Mayor Jackson said the claim will be withdrawn.
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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