Thursday, February 9, 2012

Imagine If This Were You


There is a story which appears at The Last Vegas Review-Journal that was originally posted by Mike Blasky on February 7, 2012 and updated on February 8th entitled, “Video Shows Officers Beating Motorist In Diabetic Shock.”

I have a deep and abiding respect for law enforcement officers and I want to make sure that anyone reading this post understands I am outraged at how pitifully our first responders are trained to deal with situations like the one described in the story at the Review-Journal.

Adam Greene is a person with diabetes.  He apparently was suffering from hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, while behind the wheel and was observed driving erratically in the city of Las Vegas.

Local police and highway patrol approached the vehicle and the video shows an appalling “arrest” of Mr. Greene.

“A Highway Patrol trooper enters the scene first, gun drawn, and kicks the driver's window of Greene's four-door sedan. After several moments, the trooper opens the door.”

“The trooper, his gun still raised, then gives Greene conflicting commands. He first tells him not to move, then tells him to come forward.”

“A second trooper quickly cuffs Greene's wrist and pulls him from the car, which rolls forward until an officer stops it.” 

“Greene flops to the ground, clearly dazed as five officers rush him. A sixth officer, with Henderson police, enters the frame late and delivers five well-placed kicks to Greene's face.” 

"’Stop resisting mother (expletive)!’ one officer yells.” 

“Greene doesn't scream until a second Henderson officer knees him in the midsection—and then does it three more times. Greene was later treated for fractured ribs.” 

“Police suspected Greene was intoxicated as he weaved among lanes about 4 a.m. on Oct. 29, 2010, and finally stopped his car near Lake Mead Parkway and Boulder Highway in Henderson.” 

“But that wasn't the case, which they soon discovered after they searched Greene.” 

"’Call in medical,’ one officer says in the video. ’We found some insulin in his pocket.  He's semiconscious.’"

When I was diagnosed with diabetes in March of 2006, my health care team was extremely thorough in helping me to cope with my diagnosis.  One thing they emphasized was driving safely.

When a person with diabetes experiences low blood sugar some of the symptoms include shakiness, dizziness, hunger, cold or clammy skin or loss of consciousness and even seizures.

From the story, it is not clear whether Mr. Greene was wearing a medical alert bracelet.  This is a must for anyone with diabetes.  My bracelet lists all of the medications I take and includes the name of the person I wish to be contacted in the event I cannot speak for myself.

I also ordered diabetic driver decals which I placed on the windows of the driver side and passenger side of my car.  I did this because I was well aware that law enforcement officers are undertrained or not trained at all on the effects of hypoglycemia/diabetes.

This arrest is a black eye for law enforcement. It is horrifying. Mr. Greene has been compensated for the beating he took at the hands of the cops.  He suffered broken ribs and bruises to his hands, neck, face and scalp according to the lawsuit.

If you know someone with diabetes, please ask if they have a medical alert bracelet and decals.  If they don’t, urge them to get them.

Many people with diabetes are ashamed of their disease.  This should not be.  Help your friend overcome their fright.  It could be the difference between life and death.  Trust me on this.

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