March 31, 2012

An Important Story.

If you have not heard or read about a woman named Anna Brown in St. Louis, Missouri, then I implore you to go here.  Be sure to watch the accompanying video as well. 

Anna's story needs to be front page news.  It's especially timely with the pressing issue of health care in this country.  It sheds significant light on the reality for many underinsured and uninsured in this country.  It highlights the danger of passing judgement based on race, economic status, and life circumstances.  One might even conclude that this story indirectly addresses the need for improved and increased mental health coverage for all, because it's highly possible that whatever unaddressed mental health issues Anna had contributed to her inability to properly care for her children and led to her homelessness. 

Anna's story is wrong on so many levels.  Not the least of which is the treatment she received from the police.  I am so outraged by the police in this story, I could spit fire.  And thus far, the police department involved is not being further investigated regarding this incident.  This woman did not take a swing at the police.  She did not resist arrest.  She was clearly writhing in pain.  She could not walk or put any pressure on her legs.  But instead of using a wheelchair to transport her from the car to the police station, the cops grabbed her by the arms and dragged her.  Once inside, when she once again stated she could not walk, they carried her to a holding cell and dumped her onto the cold, concrete floor.  Even despite the fact that there was a bed with a mattress right next to her.  She was dead minutes later, after a blood clot from her leg traveled to her lungs. 

I don't give a flying crap how dangerous or hard a cop's job is.  There is no excuse for the treatment this woman received.  She posed zero threat to them.   She was clearly in pain.  They assumed she was on drugs even though her behavior did not indicate that (and not to mention could've been easily proven while they were still at the hospital if they were so sure).  I really hope that this story continues to get media coverage so that a proper investigation, of both the hospital and the police, is done.  It's all infuriating.

Rest in peace, Anna Brown.  I hope your death will not be in vain, and will instead be a catalyst for some much needed change in our country.  Change in our health care system, mental health services and availability, and perhaps most importantly, change in how we treat each other.

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