Thursday, February 01, 2007

Modern Policing

Here's the story- a woman was stopped by police and then arrested. After spending a night in the cells she went to hospital where she gave birth to a premature child who died only a minute later. She's in the process of suing the police because the police officers who arrested her repeatedly ignored her pleas for help. Now, here are the details-

A police videotape released Tuesday shows Sofia Salva telling police officers numerous times on Feb. 5, 2006, that she was pregnant, bleeding and needed to go to a hospital.

After the ninth request, a female officer asked: "How is that my problem?"

The officers stopped Salva after they saw her affixing a fake temporary tag on the back windshield of her car. After the officers tell her why she was arrested, Salva is seen telling the officers she is having a miscarriage and is bleeding.

Schnell, who has worked for the department for less than two years, walks away from the car and tells his partner: "She just gave me a line of excuses. She said she's bleeding. She said you can check her."

The officers made Salva sit on the curb as they searched her car, purse and grocery sacks. Salva again tells the officers that she is bleeding and asks them to check her underwear and says she wants to go to the hospital.

"Well," Spencer said, "that will be something you can take care of when we get done with you."

After a drawn-out process to get Salva's identifying information, Salva is clearly upset."I have a baby in my stomach and I'm bleeding and I open my underwear for you to see."

"Stay seated!" Schnell yelled.

"If I die here, will you take care of me?" Salva said. "If I die here?"

"Fair enough," Schnell said.

After Salva is handcuffed, she again tells Schnell she is bleeding.

"I don't doubt that you're possibly bleeding, but you got a lot more problems with us," Schnell said.

The arrested woman also claims to have repeatedly asked for medical help during her overnight stay in the jail- her pleas apparently went unanswered.

The next morning, jailers let her go to a hospital after she passed a large blood clot. Salva delivered a premature baby boy, who lived for one minute.The department's legal adviser said the tapes of Salva's time in jail had been recycled before it became aware of Salva's claims.

There's a growing distrust of the police from ordinary, law-abiding citizens because of stories like this which seem to be repeatedly endlessly; and time and again, the police officers in question are treated like some sort of privileged class by the courts (when it does actually go to court). Until such a time comes when the police decide to crack down hard on any transgressions by officers- in a very public manner- the distrust and ill-feeling will merely continue to grow and grow.

1 comment:

hairy hobbit said...

The more stories like this come out, the more I doubt it'll be the police who do the cracking down.

you can only stretch a rubber band so far before it snaps.