ONTD Political

Video: Officers beating motorist in diabetic shock

3:39 pm - 02/08/2012
Wow, this is just... appalling. Granted, they didn't know he was in diabetic shock, but they're yelling "Stop resisting!" when he clearly isn't. The cops laughing at the end of the video is just disgusting.

Video shows officers beating motorist in diabetic shock
Adam Greene is on his stomach as a pack of police officers pile on him, driving their knees into his back and wrenching his arms and legs. One officer knees him in the ribs; another kicks him in the face.

"Stop resisting," officers on the video yell, but Greene, his face pushed into the pavement, hasn't resisted. He doesn't even move -- maybe can't move -- because he's gone into diabetic shock caused by low blood sugar.

The video, recorded more than a year ago by a police car dashboard camera, was released Tuesday by Greene's lawyers. The same night, the Henderson City Council approved a settlement of $158,500 for Greene. His wife received $99,000 from Henderson, which is just under the minimum amount that requires council approval.

Nevada Highway Patrol troopers also participated in the traffic stop but do not appear to kick or knee Greene on the video. The state has agreed to pay $35,000 to Greene for a total of $292,500 between the two agencies.

It was a Highway Patrol vehicle camera that captured the incident.

CAUGHT ON TAPE

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."

"Let's get medical out here. He's a diabetic, he's probably in shock," the officer later tells dispatch.


Greene's lawsuit said officers then forced him to stand by a patrol car in handcuffs and blow into a Breathalyzer, despite being injured. Paramedics later arrived and treated him for low blood sugar.

Greene was released without a citation, and officers apologized to him for "beating him up," the lawsuit said.

He immediately went to a hospital, where he was treated for the broken ribs and the bruises to his hands, neck, face and scalp, the lawsuit said.

One of the harsher moments in the video comes near the end of the clip, when one officer can be heard laughing loudly.

One officer notes that Greene "was not a small guy." An officer laughs and says, "I couldn't take him by myself."

OFFICERS NOT IDENTIFIED

None of the officers was named in the lawsuit, and authorities have not released their names.

Henderson police said a sergeant involved was disciplined. The sergeant remains employed with the department.

Greene's lawyers were planning to hold a news conference today about the incident.

Greene's case, while shocking, is not unique.

Alan Yatvin, a legal advocate for the American Diabetes Association and a Philadelphia attorney, said police across the country frequently mistake low blood sugar -- called hypoglycemia when blood sugar is exceptionally low -- for intoxication in people with diabetes.

A Web search on the issue returns dozens of video clips and stories similar to Greene's.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, dizziness, hunger, pale skin, moodiness, aggressive behavior, loss of consciousness and even seizures.

"You need police to be trained in what to look for," Yatvin said. "The problem is, there's no authority over all police departments. Every department has its own procedures, and states have different rules and training regimens."

Henderson police said in a statement that the department's use-of-force methods were modified after the Greene incident. The statement noted a 30 percent reduction in use-of-force incidents from 2010 to 2011. The specific policy changes were not detailed.

William Sousa, a criminal justice professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said training for crisis issues is not consistent through departments. Some departments train every officer, and some departments train just a few.

And it is unknown how effective crisis training is, Sousa said.

"Anecdotal evidence is that even officers trained for this will come upon situations they have to diagnose quickly, and act quickly, and those result in cases where you have something (like Greene's case)," he said.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes wear a bracelet indicating their condition, but "police still have to look," Yatvin said.

It is unknown whether Greene was wearing a medical bracelet, but it wasn't mentioned in the lawsuit.

Yatvin, who specializes in police misconduct cases, added that it is "very troubling" for the average citizen to think police could arrest or assault them because of a medical condition.

"I have a hard time imagining a scenario where it's necessary to kick an unarmed man and break his ribs," he said.

The scenario likely would not have been seen at all had the Highway Patrol camera not been rolling.

At the time of the incident, Henderson police did not have dashboard cameras. Those were added to Henderson police vehicles in June, more than eight months after the incident with Greene.

Such an event would not have been captured on video in Las Vegas because the Metropolitan Police Department doesn't have cameras in cars.

Sousa said the trend with agencies has been moving toward dashboard cameras.

"It works both ways," he said. "There's usually resistance from officers at first, but as years go by it may become no big deal, because you get an objective recording that often helps the officers."

This wasn't the first high-profile incident involving a medical episode in Clark County. In both cases, the Highway Patrol was involved.

Las Vegas doctor Ryan Rich, 33, died in January 2008 after trooper Loren Lazoff used a Taser on him five times.

Rich's vehicle had crashed into two vehicles and then the center median on Interstate 15.

Lazoff said Rich appeared intoxicated, dazed and was combative, but an autopsy later revealed he only had seizure medication in his system. Rich had been diagnosed with the seizure disorder shortly before he died.

The Clark County Coroner's inquest jury ruled the death excusable.

Rich's family sued Taser International last year. The Highway Patrol was not named in the lawsuit.

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romp 9th-Feb-2012 01:22 am (UTC)
Shit. I'm sorry. I hate that we give so much power to the people least able to handle it.
walkwithheroes 9th-Feb-2012 12:09 am (UTC)
The more I read about the police, the more disgusted I am at the way many of them behave. When one of the officers kept asking if anyone was hurt, I just thought: "Yes, the man you forced to the ground and kicked." Clearly Greene was not resisting arrest. And even if he was, six men kicking him in the ribs and face (when he's already on the ground and cuffed), is brutal.
cuterabbit33 9th-Feb-2012 12:22 am (UTC)
if being on this comm has taught me anything, it's that there's something deeply wrong with the police structure.

Agreed. Before I found this com, I was an easy defender of the police. Now I'm absolutely terrified of them.
ascendings 9th-Feb-2012 12:19 am (UTC)
there's apparently an endless supply of police fuckery to go around today huh

edited cause i like adding extra letters where they don't belong

Edited at 2012-02-09 12:19 am (UTC)
jettakd 9th-Feb-2012 12:36 am (UTC)
Oh God, today just gets worse wrt police brutality.
madman101 9th-Feb-2012 01:30 am (UTC)
I have been very concerned about police abuses for some time, as have most of us. It just gets worse and worse. It's very sad and very dangerous to our democracy.

I have not experienced such extreme abuse. But I was once zipping along in my car one night, and was pulled over for speeding. Fine. But I happen to have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - and the officers immediately assumed I was drunk. They shouted me out of the car, and then handcuffed me, because they found a plastic toy gun in the front of the car. Their alarm was both comical and insane. OMG! A toy gun! "Hands and legs apart!"

Then they asked if I wanted to take a breath test. Being naively not-up on the news, because I had spent recent years painfully staring at the ceiling instead, I asked, "Well, I can say 'No'?"

"If I say, 'No', then you will allow me to go?"

I mean - WHY ASK IN THE FIRST PLACE? If they meant to arrest me for saying no, at least they'd feel too GUILTY about it, right?"

"Oh, of course. Yes. You can say anything you want. We're not forcing you to say anything!"

"No."

"Get in the squad car, you're under arrest!"

Well, at the station, I buttered them up a little bit, talking about police dogs, but mostly I kept quiet. They gave me a breath test at the station, and I was of course under the limit. Ultimately, they let me go, and destroyed the ARREST paperwork - so I was officially "unarrested."

But, with my disability, I spent the night sleeping on a pile of cold branches, and then had to walk several miles to try to get my car un-impounded. That's right. Somehow, even though I was NEVER ACTUALLY ARRESTED, they somehow had the right to withhold my car from me, which cost me hundreds of dollars.

What I think about all the current abuse? IT'S ALL ONE BIG ABSURD MISTAKE, involving a lot of good cops, bad cops, and IDIOTS, all thinking they are obligated to defend the moral/financial interests of the vanishing upper middle class, and gated rich, as represented by cronie capitalist politicians who hang on like drunken bulldogs.

o_c_c_u_p_y
brookiki 9th-Feb-2012 02:01 am (UTC)
romp 9th-Feb-2012 01:39 am (UTC)
"Anyone hurt here?"

YEAH, THE GUY YOU KICKED REPEATEDLY FOR BEING IN SHOCK. FUCK
archanglrobriel 9th-Feb-2012 01:44 am (UTC)
It's really sad that I'm having to revise all of the myths that I was given about who cops are and how they function in light of what I now know about the police. Specifically, if they perceive or even suspect that you are a member of a vulnerable class (i.e. not rich, white and male) then you have to move to another set of truths about dealing with them: They are not your friends. They are not on your side. They are not here to help you. They do not serve, nor protect. There is a better than average chance that they are, in fact, entitled and government vouchsafed sadists on a power trip. Respond accordingly.
sakuraberries 9th-Feb-2012 01:50 am (UTC)
the fuck is wrong with the police these days.
pepsquad 9th-Feb-2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
the fuck is wrong with the police these days.
brookiki 9th-Feb-2012 02:21 am (UTC)
When I took my EMT class, one of the earliest thing we learned was that someone in diabetic shock might look, sound, and act drunk when in reality, they're experiencing a life-threatening event and should be treated immediately. I don't understand why this concept is particularly confusing for the police.

That said, even if this guy was the most intoxicated individual that had ever been encountered by that police department, he still didn't deserve this.

Also, story time: A few years ago, I was on the interstate and saw a car had gone over the grassy slope on the side of the road. Since no one else was on scene, I stopped and soon realized that there was only one patient and the guy was apparently drunk as hell (I say apparently,y because again, OTHER things could have caused it.) All the guy could think of was getting away because "I'm going to be in so much trouble." (Sorry, but you already are.)

Anyway, I'm basically following him around and saying "Um, excuse me sir, you could have serious injuries. Please, sir, you need to sit down and let me check you out." The guy was about my size, maybe a little taller (I'm 5'7) and skinny. Suddenly, a tall, very muscular guy (who turns out to be an off-duty state trooper) grabs his shoulder and forces him into a sitting position on ground and says "You need to sit down and shut up while she takes care of you." Then he looks at me and says "Go ahead."

Well, thank you for your permission, but given that my whole reason for trying to get the guy to stay still was in case he had a C-spine injury that he might have aggravated and since if there was an injury, you probably did more damage in one second than he could have done in ten minutes, so, yeah, there's not really much to do except check the laceration on his ear.

I didn't follow anything about it since it happened about an hour away from me and I was just passing through, so for all I know, the guy is sitting in a wheelchair because some cop decided to show how badass he was and make him behave.

Nice, huh?

ETA: When I worked EMS, I also heard cops brag about beating people they arrested. I raised a concern over it during one of particular story and my partner looked at me like I was a three year old and pointed out that they only did it to people who tried to run and caused a car chase and those people could have killed someone, so it was okay.

Well, okay, then, except for the fact that the dispatcher entertaining us with police brutality is currently telling about this really, really funny time when the cops totally got confused and accidentally violently beat a totally innocent guy. Then, when they realized their mistake, the just drove him to the state like, told him to get over there, and said if he said anything, they'd find him again.

I've hoped that a lot of this was exaggeration (like the reputation a certain police department had for constantly replacing metal clipboards because they used them on suspects) but the more I hear, the more I believe they were probably telling the truth or something uncomfortable close to it.

Edited at 2012-02-09 02:26 am (UTC)
kalikahuntress 9th-Feb-2012 02:24 am (UTC)
That fuck the police tag is getting used often lately, it's really terrifying that there are so many incidents of abuse of power by people who should be protecting us.
13chapters 9th-Feb-2012 03:06 am (UTC)
My mother is a diabetic and stories like this terrify me. When my mom has an insulin reaction she is not herself. She has done some seriously bizarre things in the midst of an insulin reaction and I can easily envision her having a negative interaction with the police. (The police in our little town are a bunch of power hungry assholes. They once tried to ban my dad from the post office for complaining about poor service there, wtf.)
aiffe 9th-Feb-2012 07:28 am (UTC)
The police in our little town everywhere are a bunch of power hungry assholes.

FTFY. :)

Edited at 2012-02-09 07:28 am (UTC)
yooperchild 9th-Feb-2012 03:35 am (UTC)
I live in Vegas and alot has been going on with the police lately....several suspicious shootings and such. This was headline of the paper today.
i_m_b00 9th-Feb-2012 04:27 am (UTC)
That. Was Horrifying.

An officer who yells 'don't move, get out of the car' with a gun drawn is dangerous pure and simple. As horrifying as this assault is this guy could have very easily been killed.

I do believe we need police but not like this. I think we are seeing more of this not because it happens more frequently but because of cell phone and other video taping is letting us see it. this needs fixing. Lives are at stake.
rimpala 9th-Feb-2012 07:11 am (UTC)
We need police to deal with the police heh
tabaqui 9th-Feb-2012 06:18 am (UTC)
Yet another video there's no fucking way i'm watching. Arrgh! I want to be able to trust the police. I really, really do. But time and again, they are proving they are simply not trustworthy.
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