Sybrina Fulton, Samaria Rice and Lesley McSpadden in 2014.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is sorry about the bill Tamir Rice’s family received for the ambulance service and ride to a hospital that didn’t save the child’s life. This comes after public outcry about the bill, which seemed flatly monstrous considering the reason 12-year-old Rice needed an ambulance: that he was fatally shot by police officer Timothy Loehmann, who was never charged in his death.

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In a press conference on Thursday, Jackson said, via WKYC-TV, “I apologize to the Rice family if this has added to any grief or pain they may have had. ... There was never a bill sent to the Rice family. There was never any intent to send a bill.”

“If” this has added to any grief—how generous!

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According to those involved, the bill was a mistake. The city of Cleveland was paid $500 by Medicaid for the expenses and shuttered the case as a loss. Officials say a lawyer for Rice’s estate then requested a bill for the ambulance fees, which kicked in an automatic filing in probate court.

The city is waiving the bill, anyway, and Mayor Jackson says he’s looking into whether “somebody has done something negligent or intentional” or “if it’s just somebody doing their job who didn’t take the extra step.”

In the matter of the federal civil lawsuit filed against the city but the Rice family, he said that the city of Cleveland is working “toward a settlement if, in fact, we believe it is fair to all parties.”

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What can “fair” even mean in a clusterfuck like this?


Contact the author at Hillary@jezebel.com.

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Image of Sybrina Fulton, Samaria Rice, Lesley McSpadden via Getty.