July 23, 2015

The only way we're going to get a handle on police brutality and plain bad practices is to punish the departments financially. Maybe their funding should be cut off when they perform badly, just the way public schools are. Via Huffington Post:

A Tennessee man with asthma died after being hogtied and placed facedown on a stretcher by police following a Widespread Panic concert in Mississippi."A witness heard him tell police that he could not breathe," Memphis attorney Tim Edwards told The Huffington Post on Monday.

Edwards is representing the family of the dead man, whom he identified as Troy Goode, a 30-year-old chemical engineer and married father of one from Cordova, Tennessee.

According to Edwards, Goode and his wife attended a Saturday concert in Southaven, Mississippi. The couple was driving away from the concert venue when Goode exited the vehicle near a local shopping center."He was intoxicated and his wife was driving," Edwards said. "He was acting erratically and got out of the car for reasons unknown."

Goode's behavior prompted someone to call the Southaven Police Department. When officers arrived on the scene, Goode allegedly resisted arrest."He opened the back door to the K9 police car," witness Ashley Dunlap toldLocalmemphis.com. "The officers had to tame the dog and keep the dog under control and then the man starts running ... so the police officers had to run after him."

Goode -- who, according to Edwards, had asthma and carried an inhaler -- was arrested for disorderly conduct. For reasons not yet clear, Goode was hogtied by officers and placed facedown on a stretcher belonging to a responding ambulance, the lawyer said.The incident was partially captured on amateur video.

While paramedics loaded Goode into the back of the ambulance, a bystander can be heard saying, "They've hogtied him. That's such a bad idea." Seconds later, another witness can be heard saying, "Video it, just in case he dies."

Goode was transported to a local hospital. Two hours later, his family was notified that he had died.

[...] The Southaven Police Department did not return calls for comment from HuffPost on Monday. A police spokesperson told Fox13 News that the department suspects Goode was under the influence of "LSD or something similar."

[...] Hogtying a person has long been a controversial practice because of the risk of positional asphyxia. It has been banned by several law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department.

Via Wonkette, which has a lot more information:

Desoto County D.A. John Champion claimed in a news conference to have seen a “preliminary report” on the autopsy, sans lab results, from which he drew the conclusion that “Goode’s death was possibly related to heart or lung related issues.” In another report on the same presser, Champion was quoted more specifically, saying, “Basically, (it was) a form of a heart attack. His heart was racing so heavy.” Champion also said he believes that his preliminary interpretation of the lab result-free autopsy report exonerates the arresting officers from charges of police misconduct, but then again, he also says the cops merely restrained Goode with leg irons, when EVERY WITNESS says they hogtied him.

Regardless of the exact cause of death, McCormack told Wonkette, “Everyone realizes that the real story here is how Troy was treated by the police. We have video of how he was treated. Everyone can see that they hogtied him. They strapped his head down while he was hogtied. It’s a shame that the Southaven Police Department isn’t focusing on their officers’ use of force.”

Here’s that video, taken by the son of local attorney David McLaughlin. In it, you can see that the police have hogtied Goode, even though Mississippi officials are apparently allergic to the word “hogtie.” Maybe they prefer to think of it as “that thing we like to do with our rope.” Note that at the 50-second mark, we can see Goode struggling, and witnesses say they can hear him screaming, “I can’t breathe!” A few seconds later, a witness notes how deadly white Goode looks, right before the officers on the scene get pissed off about how they’re being recorded...

And remember how Goode had asthma? A close friend of the family with detailed knowledge of the incident reports that Kelli Goode tried in vain to tell the officers that her husband had asthma and needed his inhaler, at which point they allegedly threatened to arrest her. This source’s account also describes Goode screaming, “I can’t breathe!”

A letter sent to Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, provided to Wonkette by the Goode family’s attorneys, states that Kelli Goode was told again that she would be arrested, if she followed her husband to the hospital, and that Troy Goode’s mother was similarly threatened when she contacted the hospital and was told her son was in “stable condition”:

[...] And then shortly after, the family learned that Troy Goode was dead. Golly gee, wonder if somebody was trying to cover somebody’s ass, the way the family was kept from the hospital and threatened with arrest? JUST ASKING QUESTIONS.

The same letter, seeking a full investigation from the state into all aspects of the case, sheds more light on what the officers allegedly did at the scene, and would you be surprised to hear tasers may have been involved? Only if you’re an idiot!

[...] Fun fact about hogtying: It’s considered to be an EXTREMELY dangerous practice, one which has been banned by more than a few large police departments. Because why?

In 1992, Dr. Donald Reay, the chief medical examiner of King County and Seattle, Wash., published a study on hog-tying and “positional asphyxia.” That’s the medical term for suffocation that occurs when a restrained subject is made to lie face down, resting mainly on his chest and abdomen.

Now that study was about how hogtying increases the chance of positional asphyxia in overweight people, but you know who ELSE might have trouble breathing in restraints like that? People who are in the middle of asthma attacks, because by definition, those people are having trouble breathing. Would you be surprised to learn that hogtying is widely used throughout Mississippi? No you wouldn’t, because you are NOT an idiot.

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