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.

lomesir22 8th-Feb-2012 11:58 pm (UTC)
Far be it from me to rant about The Man, but seriously, fuck the police.
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.
ms_mmelissa 9th-Feb-2012 01:30 am (UTC)
Hugs if you want them.

Disgusting what they did to you, and countless others.
kamottle 9th-Feb-2012 08:56 am (UTC)
That's disgusting, I'm sorry you had to go through that.
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.
vanishingbee 9th-Feb-2012 12:13 am (UTC)
if being on this comm has taught me anything, it's that there's something deeply wrong with the police structure. Is there ANY structure of a policing body that doesn't result in these kind of abuses? Because it seems like as soon as people are given power, they inevitably (collectively) fuck it up.
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.
vanishingbee 9th-Feb-2012 12:24 am (UTC)
It sucks, because IMO there are good police officers. But even the good ones would only ever be good in isolation-- when they're grouped together, groupthink takes over.
bleed_peroxide 9th-Feb-2012 01:11 am (UTC)
Agreed. Between this and the Occupy movement, I've forever lost any trust I ever had in the police. I know that it might just be a few bad apples, but there seem to be an awful lot of them.
livinghope 9th-Feb-2012 03:09 am (UTC)
Same. :(
jei_corsair 9th-Feb-2012 03:42 am (UTC)
Yeah, same here.
lykomancer 9th-Feb-2012 12:43 am (UTC)
Because it seems like as soon as people are given power, they inevitably (collectively) fuck it up.

IIRC, yes. Multiple studies-- not just the infamous Stanford prison experiment-- have shown that even the illusion of power makes people more likely to take risks, act selfishly, and so on.
romp 9th-Feb-2012 01:38 am (UTC)
Police officers are self-selecting so we get people who WANT to be cops and have that power. It's my understanding that many are military who get out and have limited job options so many have that background.

The top of an organization sets the tone, you know? So when abuse gets a slap on the wrist and a wink, it sends the message that abuse is permissible and even encouraged. And that becomes institutional, I think, the way certain PDs become known for abuse for decades.

But, yeah, human nature is a big part of the problem.
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)
peace_piper 9th-Feb-2012 02:01 am (UTC)
Cool story bro:

Once, my brother's car caught fire, engine blown and he had to pull over, or sort of glide over to the side of the road since the engine was done at that point. He couldn't go anywhere else, and did his best to get off of the road so he wasn't a nuisance. This was before we had cell phones, so he put the hazard lights on and we walked to the nearest payphone to call for a tow. Perfectly reasonable, right?

Nope. He had pulled onto property "owned" by the highway patrol. Never mind that the HP station was two miles up the road, he had to move his car immediately. He couldn't do it, he said, I just broke down, my car caught fire, I'm calling a towtruck, but since it's 9pm, one won't be here until tomorrow. What did they want him to do? Get out and push? His car is parked in a ditch.

The police then say it's his fault for parking there, he shouldn't have "CHOOSE" to break down on police property. They give him a hard time, and impound his car. But since it's a useless piece of scrap metal, he says fuck it, I'm not paying $400 to get my car back. A month goes by and they send him a bill, harass him further about paying for this car, a broken shell of a car that IIRC they wanted him to pay $5000 for. For that much money, he can buy a new car.

It was totally unreasonable and infuriating. I was in the car at the time and there was nothing more he could do, no where else to park or go. What were supposed to do? Slide off into the ocean?
madman101 9th-Feb-2012 02:23 am (UTC)
thanks for piping in with that piece

i'd say "IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY" except your example goes back several years - so i'm thinking maybe it occurred in the south or maybe some forlorne pace in the northwest or something

astonishing and infuriating!

thom hartmann talks a lot about externalised costs in economics, not being factored into, but instead being foist off on the public/commons...

well, i'd say the same thing happens via most laws - there are realities not made provision for, and not factored in during their execution, making for all kinds of fun and selective enforcement by corrupt or prejudiced police or authorities

and, ultimately, even though the injustice hits separate lives, we in common all end up paying the price for that

i'm thinking your bro somehow got out of paying the $5000 - but still, it's the thought that counts - (and i've got an unrelated unfair bill for $5000 of my own which i'm still dealing with)

who asked for any of this?
peace_piper 9th-Feb-2012 08:13 am (UTC)
Hawaii, actually, just off the north shore of Oahu.

Yeah, I agree. I'm a big follower of Thom's work, and that cost being externalised is especially noticeable in healthcare. I see cops dismantling homeless camps all the time, indiscriminate arrest by cops for a hobo sleeping on a bench and "move along" laws about loitering, but when was the last time a bunch of homeless vets (because most of them are veterans) got together and dismantled a police station?

And he just never paid it because it was ludicrous from the start. As far as we both know, he has no warrant for his arrest and he said if he did "for something so stupid" he would challenge it. Cause really, life happens and then someone decides that they can make it more miserable for him (as if not having a car didn't already impact his life severely and his ability to get to his job/school) and charge him on that.

I don't care if you are the police or what industry you are, that's wrong.
brookiki 9th-Feb-2012 02:28 am (UTC)
(LJ ate my comment. Should I delete the blank one above?)

I mean - WHY ASK IN THE FIRST PLACE?

General rule regarding the Fourth Amendment: If the police ask, they can't do it without your permission. "

Corollary 1: The older, highly educated mostly white, male, and straight judges hearing a case regarding the Fourth Amendment will inevitably say "Well, if I were in this situation, of course I would realize I can say no, so clearly a reasonable person would understand that they were free to walk away/say no/whatever; therefore no rights were violated.

Corollary 2: If anyone besides a white federal judge does say no, the police will ignore them and proceed to do whatever the hell they want anyway, at which point the case will be appealed on rights violations and those white federal judges will find no rights were violated because they would have known they could leave.

So, I guess as long as you're one of group of people who actually wrote it, the Constitution is a great thing.

(Edited to fix a typo. Seriously, at the rate I'm going, comms need to temp ban me for my own good until I finally stop making so many typos.)

Edited at 2012-02-09 02:30 am (UTC)
maladaptive 9th-Feb-2012 04:01 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this. The cops need permission! And they will get that permission one way or another.

It's no joke that Marshall was pretty much the only justice who said "wtf? That makes NO FUCKING SENSE."

My family can't understand why my crim classes have made me more liberal and more wary of the police.
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)
ladygoddess 9th-Feb-2012 02:47 am (UTC)
I saw my diabetic cat go into shock a couple times (the first time I didn't know WTF was going on because of course vets are all about the money and refuse to tell you basic stuff like MAKE HER EAT because they want the $$$). It was the most bizarre thing I had ever seen an animal do. She just kept pacing around, crawling under things, scooting on her belly under the bed, her eyes were unfocused, and even her meow was off. Honestly, it freaked me the hell out.

peace_piper 9th-Feb-2012 08:18 am (UTC)
More anecdata: When I was arrested/in jail, one of the most shocking things to me was how the cops would come in and brag about how many people they'd arrested that morning and how the guards would banter back about how people do such things and that they wish they didn't have to follow all these procedures and red tape and could "just hit people like they deserve". Of course, they say this in full earshot of all us prisoners and knowing we can't escape.

Psychological torture, that is.
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
peace_piper 9th-Feb-2012 08:19 am (UTC)
But who watches the watch men?
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.
rimpala 9th-Feb-2012 07:08 am (UTC)
Don't know about anyone else but I can't tell the difference between the police and the criminals.

Gotta hate that gang of fucking pigs...

Edited at 2012-02-09 07:09 am (UTC)
aiffe 9th-Feb-2012 07:30 am (UTC)
I can; the police are better organized, more brazen, and scarier because if you fight back they have the force of an entire military behind them, can lock you away for life without any recourse, and will hound you to the ends of the earth.
aiffe 9th-Feb-2012 07:35 am (UTC)
What always strikes me is how cowardly these cops are. Look at them approaching a man in diabetic shock like he was a ticking bomb. Look how they needed like six guys and a gun to cuff someone who offered no resistance.

I've noticed this in my clashes with the police too. They work in large numbers, and they all act terrified of me, while simultaneously overcompensating by excessively dominating me. I think this fear is related to their aggression. If they were calmer, they might notice that hey, this guy isn't even fully conscious, he's not a threat.

I'm not defending these cops at all, in case this is unclear. What they did was atrocious, and I have a massive hate-on for the police in general, due to my history with them. But also because of that history, I do a lot of thinking on just what the problem with these people is, and how they could be less of a menace to society. This atmosphere of fear they cultivate seems to be part of what's making them so dangerous.
zhiva_the_mage 9th-Feb-2012 10:55 am (UTC)
Police = "can do anything they want as long as they obey the rich".
anjak_j 9th-Feb-2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
I'm not going to watch - just reading what happened to this guy is bad enough. Just disgusting - I agree with the guy who said that every police officer needs to be taught how to distinguish between drunk and someone who is very sick and could die without immediate medical intervention.
crossfire 9th-Feb-2012 06:08 pm (UTC)
WTF, that one guy runs up just to kick the guy like five times, then he walks around with his hands in his pockets. JFC.
magedragonfire 9th-Feb-2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
Not watching. No thank you.

I've had insulin reactions while I've been on the road - usually they're not very bad ones, where I can recognise what's going on and pull over and get some food/juice into me. Once, though, it was so bad that my vision blacked out; I never even felt the hypoglycemia coming on and by the time I hit that point, I was too far gone to think properly about doing what I should. Frankly, it's a fucking miracle that I managed to get home, in one piece and without hitting anyone, while in that state - I was only five minutes away, but had to go past a school and a shopping centre. It gives me the shivers when I think back on it.

(And yes, reports that it's like being drunk are very accurate.)

Long story short, though, I could be that guy. It would only take one very sudden insulin reaction and a police or RCMP officer that thought with their bravado first and not their brain. And it doesn't even have to be driving - I could be stumbling down the street and they could have me corraled for public drunkeness or something. And in that state? It's about a fifty-fifty chance whether I'd be giggling and childish, or snarly and combative. I've gone both ways before.

It's really, really scary to think about.
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