Monday, April 27, 2015
Police duty to those in custody, problems in Baltimore with PD
Once police take a person into full custody, they become responsible for protecting the suspect and seeing that needed medical care is provided. This is another area, like excessive use of force, that has spawned accusations of racism and police misconduct. Demonstrations in Baltimore over the severe in-custody injuries of a black man have resulted in some arrests and violence. The suspect suffered severe spinal cord injury while in police custody. He was transported in a police van to the station, not to the hospital. It is alleged that he was not secured and was alone in the back of the van. The department admitted he should have gotten medical help much sooner. This is just one case is a history that has poisoned the relationship between the PD and many in Baltimore.
According to the NYT;
"Last year, The Baltimore Sun reported that taxpayers had paid $5.7 million since 2011 in judgments or settlements in 102 lawsuits alleging police misconduct. A. Dwight Pettit, a lawyer who specializes in police misconduct and represents Tyrone West’s family in a wrongful-death suit against the city, said he had “20 open cases right now,” and was flooded with requests for representation.
Mr. Gray was not the first black man in Baltimore to emerge from a police van with a spinal cord injury. Jeffrey Alston, who became paralyzed from the neck down after a van ride, settled for $6 million in 2004. The following year, Dondi Johnson, also paralyzed after a van ride, won a jury award of $7.4 million, though it was reduced on appeal."