Tuesday, June 3, 2014
INTERIM POLICE CHIEF (SEATTLE POLICE DEPT) REVERSES DISCIPLINE OF OFFICER
Here we go again. The interim-police chief of Seattle Police, Harry Bailey, has reversed the discipline of an officer who stomped a handcuffed suspect on the curb of a public Seattle street. Almost three years later, the officer is now claiming that he had a concussion at the time, from a drunken brawl inside the bar where he accused the suspect of stealing his coat. When he faced the music the first time around, none of this concussion blaming was going on. There was no evidence (brain scan) showing that he was injured that night. Even if he was, I don't buy that he had any excuse to stomp on a man's head when he was on the ground, handcuffed.
I have a difficult time with seeing/hearing about people being beaten about the head or stomped, in any situation, but particularly something like this where a first responder who should know better and be held to a higher standard isn't. This officer could SO easily have caused a case of acquired hydrocephalus, or worse.
There was another case a few years ago, where a suspect was beaten about the head by a detective (in both incidents there were other officers on the scene at the time of these incidents) who also threw around a lot of offensive language. The language was bad, but kicking him about the head and then, after realizing he wasn't guilty of anything (it was a mistaken identity situation), the same detective told the guy to "walk it off" when he couldn't stand or walk unassisted. He wasn't drunk, the victim was suffering from being kicked in the head numerous times! The victim was also allowed to refuse medical attention. I've spoken to police since then and they were unaware that the victim could have had an undetectable brain bleed/injury and could have gone home and never woken up. Honestly, they were shocked that the person wouldn't know they had a brain bleed or injury to their brain. I have the language to express what is often going on with my brain, but someone who hasn't lived with brain issues won't have that ability, but not being seen by medical professionals could shut the door, without first responders knowing it.
I know that a lot of us with hydrocephalus, congenital or acquired, live with a certain sense of isolation and feeling that our condition is so rare that there aren't any who would understand. Acquiring a condition through accident is one thing, but having it potentially inflicted by people who should know better is just so much more offensive, IMO.