How can I say that? Once again, we have evidence of cops acting criminally.
Police in Minneapolis asked medical responders to inject people with ketamine, a powerful sedative, even if they were already restrained in handcuffs or strapped to a gurney, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
The newspaper, which obtained a copy of the city’s civil rights review on the practice, wrote on Friday that police pressured EMS to inject victims as they begged them not to. In some cases, the drug caused the victim’s hearts or breathing to stop, requiring intubation or other medical treatment to revive them.
The department’s own conduct manual categorizes ketamine as a powerful “date rape drug” — not just because it immobilizes victims, but can tamper with memory, even erasing victims’ recollections of their time on the drug. Ketamine is a sedative used medically in humans and animals, and has a long history of recreational use.
That’s interesting. I used to use ketamine routinely as an anesthetic on cats and rabbits, before we whipped out the dental drills and bored holes in their skulls and lowered electrodes into their brains. It’s potent stuff. Sometimes too potent — we had to monitor the anesthetic closely, because the line between respiratory/cardiac failure and waking up in the middle of surgery was so narrow. Routinely injecting it into citizens to calm them down? Sounds like a bad, dangerous idea, and kind of pointless when they’re strapped down.
I’ve also been given a low dose of ketamine, once when I blew out my knee and was lying there with a limb bent in strange orientations and out of my head with agony. It was odd — it left me disoriented and confused and so out of it that the doctor was able to wrench all the bones back into place. That was nice, but still not something I want a cop to be directing an EMS tech to be shooting me with, for their convenience.
The only good thing about this reckless policy is that using a dissociative sedative is preferable to shooting someone, the other strategy of civilian management the Minneapolis police department favors.
I would have thought that the really public incident in Utah a few years ago would have disabused any medical personnel from doing something just because a cop asked (or demanded) that they do so, and the cops from asking (or demanding) *medical* actions. Or are the Minnesota cops trained in medicine?
To the cops, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature.
Surgery with machine guns.
Their version of the Hippocratic Oath: “Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!”
Maybe, but then if fully restrained individuals are regarded dangerous enough to require sedation, then sedated fully restrained individuals probably are, too. Their head might lol threateningly during transport, or perhaps the fingers of the victim might form a rude gesture as conciousness still fades, thus doing permanent and irreperable psychological harm to the cop. Besides, it’s much easier to shoot people when they’re sedated.
Re: whhyedt (#1):
Cops can do anything, at least as far as cops seem to be concerned. But the real root of the problem is that they haven’t been proven wrong yet.
I know that, in 2018 America, the quaint idea of promises and oaths are just words to be uttered before going off and doing the exact opposite, but do medical responders take the Hippocratic Oath? If so, does injecting someone with a powerful sedative because a cop told you to when you have zero knowledge of their medical history and have no idea how they will respond violate that oath? If required to obtain a doctor’s approval, would a doctor, who has taken that oath, grant it given those same circumstances? If so, then I submit medicine hasn’t progressed much further that treating someone with leaches. Guessing in medicine should only be the final treatment when all else has failed and that’s what they’re doing as the first course.
Medical personnel should never do anything in the scope of medicine based on what a police officer says. I feel very sorry for EMS and nursing staff who are typically the ones dealing with law enforcement and any coercion they use. They are trained to act independently but both are also trained to follow instruction by people with more authority and its hard to think of a police officer as having NO authority (at least in the realm of medical treatment). They should prosecute police officers aggressively who do this.
@Larry, no medical responders do not take the hippocratic oath, and the oath is a tradition and not any legal or ethical standard. Medical responders do not think, what would a doctor do, because they don’t have the medical training to know what a doctor would do. They have specific training that is the same for them and doctors that is based on best guess. They have limited knowledge and a set of algorithms that give a best guess treatment. Ketamine is carried by EMS specifically for a situation where a patient is in pain and unable to cooperate with the medical personnel, such as a child with a broken leg who is screaming and thrashing. The point is that on the hierarchy of medical training, police officers are on the bottom and with respect to medical treatment should be taking orders from everyone else with medical training. A police officer ordering this medication to be given is highly suspicious of assault, and witness tampering due to the hierarchy of medical training and the effects of the medication.
I can’t help but notice that, once a person is unconscious, it’s quite easy to e.g. search them without probable cause, place their fingerprints on a weapon, steal personal effects, commit various sexual acts, or maybe inject them with something, which would show up on a later blood test. I mean, if the cops agreed to keep quiet, who would ever know?
But of course, our good, dependable police officers would never stoop to that sort of thing.
Slightly off-topic, but hasn’t ketamine been shown to be effective in treating depression and PTSD? Not that cops have any training or call to be ordering the administration of such a drug, or for that matter, just about any other that I can think of.
Those cops as well as those EMTs, need immediate re-education, and whoever may have told them that this was appropriate needs to have their medical credentials scrutinized.
Depending on the dose, ketamine may induce anterograde amnesia. This is likely the source of police fondness for the drug.
I would imagine cops doing this get their ideas about sedatives from TV shows, where people never suffer from allergic reactions, are given too large a dose etc., and are able to get up and do things within seconds of waking up.
Into a profession where they have no power over any other person, ever. This is not an innocent mistake that anyone could make; it’s a sign of a personality that values power and dominance. On this kind of thing: One strike, you’re out.
Re-education, their credentials scrutinized? I agree that would be a good use of their time in prison.
I’m sure you mean well but I don’t think you’re angry enough.
In the original article, it states that one of the people drugged at police behest was a woman with asthma who’d been sprayed with mace by police and whose crime was.. being drunk. Despite being trained in emergency medicine, and despite the woman asking for her inhaler, the EMT’s, who should have had some idea that both mace and alcohol can trigger asthma symptoms, complied with police demands to drug her into non responsiveness rather than giving her the medication she needed to breathe, which is the exact opposite of what someone wants to do to a person at risk of medical crisis if they care at all about that person not dying in their custody.
That woman, surprise surprise, was among the numbers of people who stopped breathing and required medical intervention to keep her alive.
This is one case study of many for why I want to drastically reduce the powers and immunities of the police, and especially when they are without a warrant. If I sedate someone without a damn good reason, then I assume it’s a serious crime. Why isn’t it also a the same serious crime for the police? Why aren’t they get prosecuted for it? As far as I can tell, several reasons.
First, because the courts invented out of whole cloth the authoritarian rule known as “qualified immunity”, that says that police do not have to obey the law like the rest of us do. I’d do away with that entirely.
Second, because police don’t have to obey the same rules as arrest as everyone else. It’s a very similar phenomenon where the courts permitted wholly separate rules concerning use of force during warrantless arrest for police compared to everyone else. I’d do away with that (almost) entirely, and say that the only kinds of arrest are citizen’s arrest, or arrest by warrant.
Third, because only government prosecutors today can seek criminal charges against police, and due to the nature of the current system, government prosecutors and police are in cahoots, and so government prosecutors have a strong incentive not to seek criminal charges against police. To solve this problem, I’d bring back private criminal prosecutions: Give the victim the first opportunity to seek an indictment against the suspect from a government grand jury, nominating themself or an attorney of their choosing as prosecutor. I imagine that most people won’t bother and allow a government prosecutor to do it, but if the victim feels that the government prosecutor won’t, or will do a bad job, then they can spend a lot of money to do it themself or hire an attorney of their choosing to do it. Because it costs a lot of money, it’s not perfect, but civil courts also cost a lot of money, and civil courts are better than nothing, and I’m convinced that this proposal is much better than nothing.
I don’t actually think that these proposals would result in radical changes. They appear radical, but I’m choosing them in large part because I believe that many everyday things will not change. I’m choosing them to target police excesses and abuse.
Here’s the key reason…the drug affects MEMORY.
In other words…now you have a victim who’s memory of any abuses suffered under the cops will be hazy if they exist at all. Of course even if they have 100% recall somehow, during the trial the cops would just produce a doctor to remind the judge that the drug affects memory and BANG, everything they will have to say will be dismissed. “No the cop didn’t just feel up the person, it must have been a dream caused by the drug. Ignore her…” “Can’t explain the injuries suffered? Then how can you say for sure the cop was responsible?” etc…etc…etc…
IMO, they don’t just want control over the person’s BODY…that’s what the handcuffs and straps were for. Now they now want to control their MIND, specifically their ability to testify against them.
I took the “Do not ascribe to malice what can be explained by stupidity.” path. I may have been wrong. Looking back at the seemingly ever increasing overreaches of law enforcement, in hindsight, that is looking increasingly likely.
So, what do we do now? We already give them psych tests. Do we retrain every LEO with an ACLU rep overseeing it? I’m not against that, by any means, I just don’t see how this is fixable. Being punitive has its purpose, but as recent history has shown, it apparently does dick-all to stave off or prevent these incidents. Especially considering how rarely LEOs are held even remotely accountable.
Way back when I was smoking weed on a daily basis, I was never this paranoid about cops.
Cops are almost never properly punished for their abuses. That’s the whole problem IMAO. Almost never do any of these fuckers go to jail. Firing them is not punitive enough, especially when it’s an open secret that fired cops just move to the next department over and get hired. What are you talking about!?
Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says
I think you and Ragutis are actually on the same page. What i believe Ragutis to be saying is that trying to be punitive and saying we’re going to be punitive and writing tough, punitive laws hasn’t worked.
You’re saying that it hasn’t worked because the punitive sanctions never seem to actually be applied. Ragutis is saying the same thing, using different words, by framing the adoption of a punitive stance as an “attempt” to be punitive.
You would say (I think) that no attempt has been made, but really I’m pretty sure you’re both agreeing on the facts.
To Crip Dyke
That would make sense. If your interpretation is correct, I agree. Thanks for clearing that up.
Last night I watched a British TV series on helicopter paramedics. Two cases stood out. One was a biker with a severely broken leg who had received the maximum allowable dose of morphine but his pain score was still off the charts they used ketamine for pain relief so they could splint his leg. To be a helicopter paramedic requires 10 years of training still this highly qualified paramedic had to call for permission to use the ketamine and call to use it again when it wore off. In the other a severely injured driver had to be anaesthetised before being transported. Befre injection of ketamine he was intubated to protect his breathing. Even though the ketamine was administered by a trained anaesthetist his heart stpped and they had to revive him with CPR. The thought of police getting medical technicians to use this potentially lethal drug to immobilise already restrained prisoners is horrific and it should be treated as the crime it undoubtedly is.
Re: garydargan @ #21…
Did they happen to cover the East Anglia helicopter medical service? Prince William was one of their pilots…
chigau (違う) says
The First Responder could administer the same dose to the victim and to the officer who is requesting the administration.
Would that work?
different training methodology.
Dallas, Las Vegas.
it’s working, but you have to convince the conservatives to support it in many areas, or it just won’t happen.
Follow-up to @24, I have no idea about Las Vegas, but Dallas has been training in de-escalation for some years now. Shootings by police have been dropping, as have arrests, and there are fewer complaints about police brutality. Bodycams & dashcams are supposedly reviewed, and they supposedly have a (nascence) culture of accountability and community (local) policing.
The Scottish police run a training program (in co-operation with the Police Executive Research Forum) to introduce de-escalation, US Police Leaders, Visiting Scotland, Get Lessons on Avoiding Deadly Force (Dec-2015):
On the bizarre escalate-Escalate-ESCALATE training of most USAian goons, Outside instructors provide new de-escalation training to Portland police (May-2018), observed:
Effective training in, and practicing, de-escalation is not the entire solution, but an important part of it.
de-escalation is SoP for police training here in NZ.
it was quite an eye opener. the police here in welly don’t use intimidation tactics, and are often quite chatty when you run into them.
also? there have been less than 80 police shooting deaths in NZ.
that’s not just this month, or this year, or even the last 10 years.
Aye. De-escalation is (or should be) the key competence of every cop.
I still have difficulty believing that simply alternative training would make such a big difference. I believe that deescalation training is important, and we should do it regardless, because I think it will make a measurable difference (especially in conjunction with other policies). Does anyone know offhand how police abuse is treated in other countries? In other countries that are deemed to have better cops, would a cop actually get criminally prosecuted for sedating a person who was already tied up? More broadly, does anyone have good evidence regarding the willingness and history of other countries prosecuting their cops for abuse of power? I still strongly suspect / believe that this is the key linchpin, and without it nothing else will work.
Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says
I think we shouldn’t give guns to cops who have been on the force for less than 5 years. Once you’ve been on the force for 5 years, the experience you’ve gained without having a gun to enforce your will has hopefully served to establish a baseline of how-to-police that doesn’t rely on force. Then you can carry a gun for those times it might rarely be needed. In the meantime, if a gun is needed at the scene, dispatchers can handle that (including sending backup if its an escalation of a situation to which dispatchers previously sent a firearm-free officer).
In many countries there is a largely disarmed police force. For some forces, only “swat” type teams carry any guns at all. For others, there’s a combination of specific duty assignments (regardless of rank) and specific ranks that entitle an officer to carry a gun. Most if not all undercover officers in other countries are allowed to carry a gun while undercover in the same way that they’re able to violate other laws (if you’re going undercover with a drug smuggling ring, you’re going to assist others to smuggle and sell drugs, duh), but official carry of uniformed officers, I think you’ll find, often faces sharp limits.
In my ideal world, SWAT teams would be rare (much rarer than they are now) and would be the only fire-arm carrying cops. However, in that ideal world cops generally would be much more rare and there wouldn’t be anything like the level of gun ownership we see in the US and Canada today.
In a reasonably achievable world, I still think there’s no reason cops should have guns before acquiring 5 years experience. I’m less certain about tasers. I tend to believe that you could assign inexperienced cops to partners with a taser and/or a gun for not only their probationary period, but also their first 12 months as a cop. Thus there would always be an armed member of the team – even if things went wonky, the unarmed cop wouldn’t have to worry about waiting for backup from a mile away.
I’ve thought this for a while, but the recent shooting in Pennsylvania by a cop who had been on the force for literally only hours makes me more certain than ever that this is the right thing to do.
Quoting Crip Dyke
I am unsure if your post was directed at me in particular. If so, I want to point out that I was addressing the broader topic of police abuse of force, and not only unjust police shootings. If you intended that as a reply to my post, I think you entirely missed the point of my post – police abuse in general – in order to beat your own dead horse – unjust (police) shootings. However, I won’t complaining too much, because I also have my issues that I bring up repeatedly and cling to tenaciously.
I don’t think this is as obvious to me as it is to you. I think this sets a very dangerous precedent. I think that you and I don’t have a problem with it because we both believe that there’s nothing immoral about using recreational drugs. However, imagine this same sort of argument, except with a different crime “if they’re going undercover in an assassin ring, you’re going to assist others to assassinate others, duh”, or “if they’re going undercover in a child porn ring, you’re going to assist others in the rape of children, duh”. I think this is a much more ethically dangerous problem than the pithy response that you gave, and I have a certain sympathy for the position that cops should not be allowed to break the law while “going undercover”. It strikes me as dangerously similar to those who want to justify torture because “we’re the good guys and it’s ok if the good guys break the law for good reasons”, which is IMO a very dangerous sentiment to have.
Moreover, this and the rest of your post still reeks of a supporter of the police state. I know that I’m basically alone in my corner of wanting to dismantle the police state, and so I’ll be appropriately reserved about it, but I really don’t like many of the ideas expressed in your post for the same reasons that I don’t like the idea of the police having any special immunities, rights, privileges, or powers of any kind – (give or take reasonable licensing schemes that don’t depend on the arbitrary discretion of the employment office of a local cop department). In other words, I really do want to do away with the police state, and I want to make all citizens equal before the law again. In other words, police should not be treated as special. They should not be military. I don’t think we need to use military as law enforcement, and I think that’s a very dangerous precedent to have as well.
It always embarrassed Samuel Vimes when civilians tried to speak to him in what they thought was “policeman.” If it came to that, he hated thinking of them as civilians. What was a policeman, if not a civilian with a uniform and a badge? But they tended to use the term these days as a way of describing people who were not policemen. It was a dangerous habit: once policemen stopped being civilians the only other thing they could be was soldiers.
– Terry Pratchett, Snuff
It’s stuff like this that makes me think that you Crip Dyke do want a police state, in the broad sense that I’m using now. It really makes me think that you believe that best kind of society would grant military-like powers to the police – powers which are not enjoyed by normal citizens. Of course, I think you left yourself enough wiggle room to get out of this interpretation that I have of what you want, but if so, I would encourage you to speak more clearly in the future, because it really does sound to me like you want to forbid firearm ownership to practically everyone, except for cops with 5 or more years of experience, and that would mean that the police are military, and that would mean a police state (in the broadest sense of the term).
No-one has said training is all that matters. Admittedly, some commentators have not been very clear that it is only part of a range of measures.
In addition, people who have lived in jurisdictions where de-escalation et al are part of the culture very probably disagree. Some have already identified themselves in this thread, and I will add myself to that list, having lived in both GB (specifically, England) and Ireland. Not having an armoured goon squad charge in shouting with machine-guns in response to any situation where the suspects aren’t already dead is rather clearly preferable.
If you disagree, try spitting on a cop in Scotland, and then in the States — in that order, as the latter will try to kill you.
Again, I think you’re focusing a rather small aspect of the problem. I’m focusing on the broader aspect. The OP contains one such example, where the cop tried to get the medic to issue a dangerous sedative to someone who was already tied up. Your arguments don’t seem to apply at all to such a situation. IMO, there must be something else at play, and I strongly suspect that it’s because if a cop tried that in England or Ireland, then they would have their ass handed to them in criminal court, and rightly so, but the American cops know that they’re above the law, and so they do whatever the fuck they want.