Wake up and stop resisting --- driving while diabetic

Wake up and stop resisting

by digby

Radley Balko pointed me to this story on twitter earlier:

Adam Greene is on his stomach as a pack of police officers pile on him, driving their knees into his back and wrenching his arms and legs. One officer knees him in the ribs; another kicks him in the face.

"Stop resisting [motherfucker]," officers on the video yell, but Greene, his face pushed into the pavement, hasn't resisted. He doesn't even move -- maybe can't move -- because he's gone into diabetic shock caused by low blood sugar.

He'd been pulled over for drunk driving and was unmoving behind the wheel. So they pulled him out and started beating on him. And yes, like so many excessive force incidents, the officers yelled "stop resisting" as the person in custody is screaming in pain. (This is obviously something they're taught to do for the dashboard camera so that it appears that they have reason to do what they're doing.)

What made me highlight this one is that when I read the story it reminded me that I'd written about several other events with similar details:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008
In Oklahoma, a driver goes into severe diabetic shock, but instead of getting help, he's tasered and then handcuffed.

This video shows what happened in El Reno, Oklahoma last month after the man's truck spun out on the interstate.

The town's police chief says his officers thought the 53-year-old man was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was resisting arrest.
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Police officers from two Chicago suburbs are being sued after one of them allegedly Tasered a man having a diabetic seizure because the diabetic involuntarily hit the officer while being taken to an ambulance.
Prospero Lassi, a 40-year-old employee of Southwest Airlines, filed the lawsuit (PDF) with a federal court in Chicago last week, following an April 9, 2009, incident in which Lassi was taken to hospital following a violent diabetic seizure -- and being Tasered 11 times while unconscious.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
John Harmon was coming off a late night at work when he left his downtown marketing firm for his Anderson Township home just after midnight in October 2009.

The 52-year-old longtime diabetic's blood sugar levels had dipped to a dangerously low level causing him to weave into another lane.

A Hamilton County sheriff's deputy spotted him on Clough Pike and suspected drunken driving.

What happened over the next two minutes and 20 seconds should never happen to anyone, Harmon said...

Deputy Wolf saw Harmon driving a 1998 Ford Expedition erratically near Wolfangel Road and pulled Harmon over.

Wolf, his gun drawn, and Wissel approached the SUV, the lawsuit said.

"The deputy's face was extremely contorted, he was screaming," Harmon said. "I remember being taken aback, recoiled and thought, 'What's going on?' I was being presented with pure evil, it was a chilling experience."

Wolf smashed the driver's side window.

Wissel shocked Harmon with a Taser for the first time. Deputy Haynes responded to the deputies' call for backup.

Harmon said the officers tried to yank him out of the SUV, but he was caught in his seat belt. He was stunned with a Taser again.

Wissel cut Harmon out of his seat belt. In his suit, Harmon said he was "violently dragged from the vehicle, thrown on the ground, kicked in the head by a boot, and stomped mercilessly while laying on his back."

"It all happened so quick, I didn't have time to think or react," Harmon said. "I just remember being on the ground, the intense pain and being pummeled."
It would appear that being a diabetic is dangerous to your health in more ways than one. With police being empowered to use excruciating pain against anyone they believe is being disrespectful or non-compliant, sick people are increasingly in danger.

It's not as if a little common sense --- and a little less adrenaline --- couldn't prevent this sort of thing. In three of these cases the person wasn't violent or threatening in any way. (The fourth was a fellow who flailed at a cop while having a seizure, which anyone with a brain should understand was involuntary.) How could they be compliant? They were in a diabetic stupor.