Jul 22, 2009

Another Dichotomy

I'm lucky. My interactions with the police - whether troopers or local officers - have always been polite and respectful on both sides. I have always found the people I have known - whether personally or in their professional capacity - to be professional, considerate, thoughtful folk who honestly care about people.

A post came across a listserv I'm on today that really appalled me and spat in the face of what my own experience has been of the police. (This is a listserv for people who have lost children and are either pregnant or trying to conceive afterward.) It just upset me so much that I have to relate it (in abbreviated fashion) here in the hopes that someone has some ideas on how this woman can keep other people from being treated this way or at least get an apology.

This woman lost her baby at 7 wks old. She called the ambulance when she went to check on her baby and the girl wasn't breathing. The paramedic told her she could ride in the ambulance. The police refused to let her, detaining her for hours. The baby was pronounced dead at 7:15 a.m., she wasn't even told for another 2 hours and 20 minutes. When she was finally allowed to see her baby, it was for less than a minute, the child was completely covered, and she wasn't allowed to hold her, touch her, or even uncover her to see her face or kiss her one last time.

They were demeaning and aggressive, tried to get her to say she did things she hadn't done and to confuse her statements. They wouldn't allow her husband to be with her. They made no bones about the fact that they thought she killed her baby. An autopsy showed no signs of any trauma and the cause of death was determined to be SIDS.

She accepts they had a job to do but, you know, that doesn't excuse cruelty. No apology was given. No expression of condolence. They never, even after the autopsy, returned any of the items with the baby at the time they took her from her parents - not even her pacifier. No wonder so many people don't trust the police!

In every field, there are good eggs and bad ones. It's that kind of police that give police a bad name - just as the sleazy attorneys that advertise on busses and cheesy TV ads give the honest ones a bad name. Just as there are far more honest attorneys than sleazy ones, I'm sure there are far more good and compassionate police than cruel ones but it's situations like this that just make my heart cry. I mean, for God's sake, they lost their baby - at very least have the courtesy to give back her pacifier and say "I'm so sorry for your loss."

As I said, I'm lucky. The police officers I know and have known are good people that go out of their way to be kind, even as they are professional - ones who take seriously the dictum "to protect and serve". I am grateful for them and, at one time, thought about becoming one (before my mother pointed out rather bluntly I was way too fat, way too clumsy, and way too blind). I think my rose-coloured glasses just got broken.

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Blogger LauraJ said...

What a horrible experience for that woman. It's just too sad!

8:19 AM  
Blogger Trinkets and Tomes said...

Unfortunately even some of the law act as if they are above the law - whether of man or of moral.

12:07 PM  
Blogger smileymamaT said...

Oh my word, that made my stomach turn over. Hopefully a very isolated event, but who knows.

Also, to answer your question, which I did on another blog by mistake, with this brain of mind, LOL... yep, "Bonne Fete" would be appropriate - it can mean Happy Birthday " or "Happy Festival/Party". :)

My word verification is "unfunch"... it seems right for me... as in "gee, my head feels unfunch-ional." Ha!

7:39 AM  

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