Nutcase Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Department Falsified Evidence, Killed Diabetic Woman By Denying Her Insulin And Medical Care – Deputies Told Victim “This Is Jail. Get Over It.”

September 15, 2012

MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA – Readers, please add Maricopa County, Arizona to your mental list of places not to get arrested in. Yes, white people, even you.

Deborah Braillard, age 46, was arrested and booked on a minor drug possession charge in January of 2005. Despite being a diabetic, Braillard was not given insulin or any other medication or medical care for four full days, until she was eventually brought to the hospital in a diabetic coma. She died 18 days later of complications from diabetes, and her family’s civil suit against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is now proceeding at trial.

According to the pretrial deposition testimony of the guards and inmates who witnessed the incident, Braillard was constantly moaning and crying out in pain, asking for help, repeatedly vomiting, defecating on herself and having seizures.

“She would shake. Her body would stiffen up,” said Tamela Harper, an inmate in the jail with Braillard. “They never did anything to help her.”

Inmates testified that they begged officers to do something, but apparently prison guards in Maricopa County consider seizures, repeated vomiting, and pooping oneself simply part of the whole prison experience. Harper testified the prisoners alerted the guards to Braillard’s worsening condition, but the guards responded:

“’There’s nothing we can do about it. You just have to deal with it. This is jail. Get over it.”’

Harper added that officers said Braillard was “kicking drugs” and that she was “getting what she deserved.“

On Thursday, plaintiffs’ counsel called Dr. Todd Wilcox, a nationally renowned expert on correctional medical care and services, to testify against his former employer, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. (He eventually quit his job after he became so frustrated with the Sheriff’s Office’s unwillingness to improve training, conditions and access to medical care for inmates and detainees.) Wilcox told the jury that the Sheriff’s Office fostered a culture of deliberate indifference and secrecy.

In this instance, Wilcox testified the medical screening document that should have been created when Braillard was booked into the jail was missing. At trial, the Sheriff’s Office produced a document indicating that Braillard had — for some unknown reason — told jail staff during intake that she was not diabetic. However, the document is dated three days after the intake took place and hours after Braillard had already been rushed to the hospital in an irreversible diabetic coma. The family’s lawyers say the document is a fake. Wilcox explained this sort of thing is not unusual on Sheriff Joe’s watch:

“Many mysterious things happen on the Sheriff’s computer network… I remember going to lunch one day and coming back with my sandwich to find somebody controlling my mouse remotely and locating folders and documents.”

On a related note, Sheriff Joe is up for reelection this year, and he has already raised over $4 million for his campaign — a pretty obscene amount for a local sheriff’s war chest. The vast majority of donations are coming from out-of-state.
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Speaking of which… oh, hey, look what we found!! The campaign sites of Sheriff Arpaio’s opponents in the upcoming election, Paul Penzone (D) and Michael Stauffer (I). Go make a donation. (For the record, The Daily Dolt has no association with Arpaio, Penzone, or Stauffer. We’re just providing the links because we think Sheriff Joe is a dick.)

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Zimmerman Passed Lie Detector Test Administered By Sanford Florida Police One Day After Shooting And Killing Attacking Druggie Trayvon Martin In Self Defense

June 26, 2012

SANFORD, FLORIDA – A day after killing Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman passed a police lie detector test when asked if he confronted the teenager and whether he feared for his life “when you shot the guy,” according to documents released today by Florida prosecutors.

According to a “confidential report” prepared by the Sanford Police Department, Zimmerman, 28, willingly submitted to a computer voice stress analyzer (CVSA) “truth verification” on February 27. Investigators concluded that he “has told substantially the complete truth in regards to this examination.”

Zimmerman, the report noted, “was classified as No Deception Indicated (NDI).”

Along with questions about whether his first name was George and if it was Monday, Zimmerman was asked, “Did you confront the guy you shot?’ He answered, “No.” He was also asked, “Were you in fear for your life, when you shot the guy.” Zimmerman replied, “Yes.”

Before the CVSA test, Zimmerman–who was apparently not accompanied by legal counsel–signed a Sanford Police Department release stating that he was undergoing the examination “voluntarily, without duress, coercion, threat or promise.”

The lie detector test was requested by Chris Serino, a homicide investigator with the Sanford Police Department.

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Baltimore County Maryland Police Officer James D. Laboard Still Not Charged After Choking Teen To Death While Off Duty – Death Ruled As Homicide

June 25, 2012

RANDALLSTOWN, MARYLAND – The family of Christopher Brown — the Randallstown teen who died this month after an altercation with an off-duty Baltimore County police officer — is demanding the officer be charged.

“An arrest needs to be made,” Brown’s mother, Chris, told reporters Monday afternoon at a relative’s home in Randallstown, where numerous photos of the Randallstown High School junior were displayed around the room. She and the teen’s aunt wore a picture of him on their shirts, with the words “Gone But Not Forgotten” written beneath.

Chris Brown said that even though her 17-year-old son was buried over the weekend, “nothing’s been done.”

Brown, whose death has been ruled a homicide by the state medical examiner’s office, was asphyxiated during an altercation with Officer James D. Laboard on June 13, police said. Police continue to investigate Brown’s death but no charges have been filed.

Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said in a statement that his office is investigating the death and warned that such investigations can take time.

He said, “I can assure Ms. Brown and all of the citizens of Baltimore County that we will collect the facts impartially and apply the law fairly. To do the job properly, we cannot rush the process, but we will do all that we can to move forward in a timely manner.”

Michael Davey, the police union attorney representing Laboard, was in a trial on Monday and not available for comment.

Elise Armacost, a spokeswoman for Baltimore County police, said, “We know people are anxious for answers and they should get answers, but we need time to investigate.”

Although the death has been ruled a homicide, she said that doesn’t necessarily mean a crirme has been committed. Homicide is defined as death at the hands of another, and prosecutors must decide whether it was justified, negligent or murder.

Brown had been with a group of teens when one threw a rock at Laboard’s house, police said. The officer ran outside after them, and caught up with Brown, who was hiding in bushes outside a home on Starbrook Road. When Brown did not come out, Laboard grabbed him, and the two got into a physical confrontation, police said. Brown fell unconscious.

Police said Laboard, 31, an officer with the Woodlawn Precinct, called for help and attempted to resuscitate Brown.

Armacost said that the case is complicated because police officers have authority to arrest and detain suspects.

But Chris Brown said her family has been patient. After burying her son over the weekend, she said, “this is where I draw the line. I know if this was anybody else, I would’ve gotten results by now.”

On Tuesday, she plans to meet with others in the Stoneybrook Community Association meeting at Winands Road Synagogue Center to hear from other residents about what happened the night her son died.

A flier being distributed in the community said county police Chief James W. Johnson was scheduled to attend, but Armacost said that was incorrect. She said Western Patrol Division Commander Maj. Evan Cohen would attend.

Brown’s attorney, Russell Neverdon, said the officer should be treated the same as any other person. “He should’ve been arrested,” the attorney said, adding that that Christopher Brown had been retreating when he was confronted by the officer.

The mother “has been patient,” Neverdon said, but “she’s not having any sense of finality.”

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State Of Minnesota Prisoner, Housed In A Private Prison, Died After Nurse Overruled Doctor’s Orders That He Be Transported To Hospital – Denied Emergency Medical Care

June 25, 2012

RUSH CITY, MINNESOTA – An inmate with a history of seizures was denied emergency care by a prison nurse who overrode a doctor’s orders for an ambulance, and within an hour the man suffered irreversible brain damage that led to his death, according to documents obtained by the Star Tribune.

Although prisoner Xavius Scullark-Johnson had suffered multiple seizures over a period of hours, a nurse at the state prison in Rush City cited “protocols” in turning away an ambulance team sent to take him to a nearby hospital, crew reports show.

Johnson’s 2010 death is expected to produce a federal lawsuit against the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC), with a filing likely early this week.

The agency said Friday that it would not allow Dr. David Paulson, its medical director, to be interviewed about the death, “due to potential litigation.” Officials said the department has investigated Johnson’s death, but would not provide details or describe the protocols cited by the nurse.

Yet events in the hours before Johnson was found “pulseless” in his cell raise questions about denial of care because of the rationed-care philosophy of the for-profit contractor Minnesota has hired to care for the state’s 9,400 prisoners. Corizon Inc., formerly known as Correctional Medical Services, has had a contract with the state since 1998, worth $28 million this year.

One of the contract’s major cost-saving provisions says that Corizon is not required to provide overnight medical staff in the state’s prisons, except Oak Park Heights and Faribault, where medically complicated, elderly and terminally ill prisoners are held.

No doctors, who are all Corizon employees, work in the state’s prisons after 4 p.m. or on weekends. Corrections nurses, who are state employees, work seven days a week, but their last shifts end at 10:30 p.m. The last time the Rush City prison had 24-hour medical coverage was in 2002.

Additionally, services such as ambulance runs are strictly monitored by Corizon and the department in an effort to cut costs, according to department medical staff. An average ambulance run costs about $3,000 plus mileage, the department says.

Corizon declined to comment for this story, or to allow a reporter to interview the Corizon physician who was on call the night of the incident.

‘Something is not right’

Johnson’s last hours are a series of scenes that show prison medical staff acting with indifference as well as compassion, corrections officers caught in the middle as communications break down, and guards left to evaluate a prisoner spiraling downward, according to DOC documents and ambulance reports.

The incident started on the evening of June 28, just as the health services unit was closing for the night.

Johnson, 27, a St. Paul native who suffered from schizophrenia and a seizure disorder, was found soaked in urine on the floor of his cell. He was coiled in a fetal position and in an altered state of consciousness that suggested he had suffered a seizure, according to notes taken by nurse Linda L. Andrews, who was on duty at that hour. He was somewhat combative when a nurse tried to take his vitals and wipe him with a cool washcloth, but his breathing was normal.

Andrews wrote that she covered the prisoner, then issued orders to a lieutenant to let Johnson sleep and to check on him during rounds. Andrews did not contact the system’s on-call doctor, according to her last chart, written at 10:55 p.m.

About four hours later, Dr. Sharyn Barney, a longtime employee of Corizon, picked up her telephone at home. A corrections officer told her that Johnson had had a seizure the previous evening that was evaluated by the health staff, but that now his cellmate was having “trouble waking” him, according to the doctor’s notes.

Barney, who works primarily out of the prison in Moose Lake, told the officer that Johnson was probably “exceptionally sleepy from the seizure the previous evening.”

She advised officers to monitor him carefully and alert the medical staff when they arrived for the morning shift.

Under the department’s contract with Corizon, there is just one on-call doctor to serve the entire prison system across Minnesota, and who is then left to assess a prisoner’s case without the benefit of a written file because health service units are shut down overnight.

Prison medical staff interviewed in recent weeks say the practice often leaves the doctor “flying blind” and leaves prison officers with no on-site medical staff to evaluate a patient’s distress.

An hour or two later, the officer called Barney back. “He was uncomfortable and felt something just was not right and we agreed to call for an ambulance,” the doctor wrote. It was a 911 call.

‘Pulseless’

A two-person ambulance team arrived at the Rush City prison at 5:39 a.m. While they evaluated Johnson, noting he was “slow to respond,” nurse Denise L. Garin arrived. She did not want Johnson transported, the ambulance crew wrote.

“They say the patient has had three seizures through the night,” a crew member wrote in her June 29, 2010, report. “They believe that he has a seizure [history] but do not know because health services is closed at night. They did not want patient transported.

“They have protocols to deal with the patient,” her notes continue, “and say this is because patient has recently gotten his Dilantin cut in half.”

Dilantin is a drug used to control seizures. An autopsy later showed that Johnson’s Dilantin was “below therapeutic level,” but there is no mention in Garin’s charting why she refused to let the ambulance crew take him to the hospital to have his Dilantin level checked immediately.

Garin’s own report makes no mention of protocols or drug dosages.

In fact, Garin wrote that Johnson was “alert, his vital signs were stable and he responded appropriately” — the opposite of what the crew observed.

Garin did not apprise the on-call doctor about her decision to cancel the ambulance order, according to her entries in Johnson’s medical file. Garin, who continues to work at the prison, could not be reached for comment.

The ambulance crew packed up and left. It was 6:07 a.m.

About 35 minutes later, an emergency alarm called staff to Johnson’s cell. Garin wrote that she found Johnson face-down in his bunk. She turned his head and noted a heartbeat. She asked an officer to stay with Johnson while she tried to reach a doctor. While waiting, she was called back to the cell. She pressed Johnson’s neck to find the cartoid artery and found that he was “pulseless.”

About 20 minutes later, a new ambulance crew arrived while prison staff administered chest compressions on Johnson. He could not be revived.

Johnson was transported to the Fairview Lakes Regional Hospital in Wyoming, Minn., and then later to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. He was pronounced dead at 7:37 a.m. on June 30. “Scans had shown herniated brain stem. Administration notified,” a nurse’s last entry stated.

At the time, Johnson was expected to be released from prison in less than three months.

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House Oversight Chair Issa Predicts Disgraced US Attorney General Will Be Held In Contempt (But of course it will be civil, and less than a slap on the wrist…)

June 24, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The top Republican leading the House investigation into Operation Fast and Furious said Sunday he expects a “bipartisan” floor vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress this coming week.

“I believe they will (vote to hold him in contempt),” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told “Fox News Sunday.” “Both Republicans and Democrats will vote that — I believe it will be bipartisan.”

Issa kept his focus on the Justice Department, clarifying that he has no evidence the White House was involved in any Fast and Furious cover-up. But he repeatedly said Congress is trying to get to the bottom of why the Justice Department “lied” about the operation.

The comments underscored the apparent momentum among majority House Republicans behind the contempt push, following a committee contempt vote against Holder along party lines this past week. That vote proceeded after Holder and Republicans were unable to reach an agreement over subpoenaed documents pertaining to the Obama administration’s Fast and Furious discussions.

Issa said Sunday it’s possible the vote could be delayed or even “eliminated” if the administration produces the subpoenaed documents the House is seeking. He noted the entire schedule is at the discretion of House Speaker John Boehner.

“But we have to see the documents first,” he said.

Barring such a resolution, Issa and his allies are teeing up a major election-year clash this coming week between the Executive and Legislative branches, and between Democrats and Republicans.

President Obama intervened this past week, invoking executive privilege to protect the documents in question, but Republicans dismissed the claim and proceeded with the contempt vote. On the sidelines, minority House Democrats are pleading with Republicans take a step back and work out the document dispute without the threat of contempt. At the same time, both sides are antagonizing each other at the dais and in the press over what Democrats claim has become a political “witch hunt.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings, R-Md., ranking Democrat on the oversight committee, told “Fox News Sunday” that the confrontation was entirely avoidable.

“I think it’s extremely unfortunate,” he said. “The attorney general has made it clear that he is willing to work with this Congress.”

Cummings called on Boehner to intervene and try to reach an agreement with Holder that involves turning over some documents while also halting the contempt proceedings.

“I think that we have a duty … at this critical moment to get the documents,” he said. “I know we can get them. It’s just a matter of sitting down and talking to Holder.”

Cummings suggested the course of the committee’s investigation has lost sight of one of the major reasons for the probe — the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, whose murder scene included weapons from the Fast and Furious operation.

But Issa defended the escalation, saying the committee is trying to obtain critical documents to help explain why Congress was initially told — incorrectly — in February 2011 that the government did not knowingly let guns “walk” across the U.S.-Mexico border. The department later issued a correction to that statement.

“We, in fact, are simply trying to get to the truth when we were told a lie,” Issa said. “It’s about the cover-up.”

“Ultimately, Justice lied to the American people on February 4 (2011), and they didn’t make it right for 10 months.”

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New York City Police Officer Richard Haste Finally Arrested And Charged After Shooting And Killing Unarmed Teen During Warrantless Home Invasion

June 13, 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – The Bronx District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday will unseal an indictment against an officer who shot and killed an 18-year-old man inside his home.

Officer Richard Haste turned himself in Wednesday morning at Central Booking in the Bronx.

Haste was using crutches as he entered the building.

The indictment will be unsealed at 9:30 a.m., and prosecutors expect to go before the judge at 10 a.m.

At Ramarley Graham’s Bronx home — the place where he was shot and killed — there are signs and t-shirts asking for justice as well as plenty of neighbors who had been waiting months for this indictment.

Graham’s parents are expected to talk at a press conference on Wednesday.

Back in February narcotics officers followed graham into his home — without a search warrant — after watching him during a drug investigation nearby.

Officer haste shot Graham in the bathroom, reportedly after being told the teenager had a gun. Graham turned out to be unarmed.

The last time a police officer was indicted for an on-duty shooting was 2007 — the case of Sean Bell. Three detectives were charged and later acquitted for killing Bell, who was outside a strip club.

Fox News legal analyst Arthur Aidala said Graham’s case is quite different because it happened inside Graham’s home.

“It kid of changes the dynamics of… how a juror would expect a police officer to act and react in that situation,” Aidala said. “When you’re following someone into their home, you better be certain that your life is in danger as a police officer before you kill someone.”

The union that represents uniformed police officers stands behind Haste and believes he will be exonerated at trial.

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House Oversight Committee To Vote On Holding Disgraced US Attorney General Eric Holder In Contempt Of Congress – Still Hiding Documents And Information On His Department Efforts That Armed Mexican Drug Cartels

June 11, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – CBS News has learned the House Oversight Committee will vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. It’s the fourth time in 30 years that Congress has launched a contempt action against an executive branch member.

This time, the dispute stems from Holder failing to turn over documents subpoenaed on October 12, 2011 in the Fast and Furious “gunwalking” investigation.

The Justice Department has maintained it has cooperated fully with the congressional investigation, turning over tens of thousands of documents and having Holder testify to Congress on the topic at least eight times.

However, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., says the Justice Department has refused to turn over tens of thousands of pages of documents. Those include materials created after Feb. 4, 2011, when the Justice Department wrote a letter to Congress saying no gunwalking had occurred. The Justice Department later retracted the denial.

“The Obama Administration has not asserted Executive Privilege or any other valid privilege over these materials and it is unacceptable that the Department of Justice refuses to produce them. These documents pertain to Operation Fast and Furious, the claims of whistleblowers, and why it took the Department nearly a year to retract false denials of reckless tactics,” Issa wrote in an announcement of the vote to be released shortly. It will reveal the vote is scheduled for Wednesday, June 20.

Issa says the Justice Department can still put a stop to the contempt process at any time by turning over the subpoenaed documents.

If the House Oversight Committee approves the contempt citation, the matter would likely be scheduled for a full House vote.

For several weeks, there has been closed-door discussions and debate among House Republicans as to whether to move forward with contempt. Some have expressed concern that it could distract from the Republican’s focus on the economy in this election year.

Led by Republicans Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Issa, Congress’ investigation into Fast and Furious is now in its second year. In the ATF operation, agents allowed thousands of weapons to “walk” into the hands of Mexican drug cartels in the hope it would somehow help ATF take down a major cartel. Some of the weapons were used in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry at the hands of illegal immigrants crossing into Arizona. Mexican press reports say hundreds of Mexicans have died at the hands of the trafficked weapons. The story was exposed nationally for the first time by CBS News in February 2011.

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee have called the Republicans’ move to find Holder in contempt a politically-motivated “witch hunt.”

In 1983, Congress found EPA administrator Anne Gorsuch Burford in contempt for failing to produce subpoenaed documents.

In 1998, the GOP-controlled House Oversight committee found Attorney General Janet Reno in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena on campaign finance law violations.

In 2008, the Democratic-led House Oversight Committee found former White House counsel Harriet Miers and Chief of Staff John Bolton in contempt for failing to cooperate with an inquiry into whether a purge of federal prosecutors by the Bush administration was politically motivated.

Congress went to federal court to seek enforcement of that contempt action, but a compromise was reached with the Executive Branch before any court decision was final.

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