I stumbled over the following incident today. There should have been an angry national outcry at the bullying police tactics that were involved, but there hasn’t been. I only came across this story by accident while visiting Digby at Hullabaloo. [Here]
...[In] the 911 call made by grandson Lonnie Tinsley, he said that he was unsure what medication his grandmother had taken and that he feared she 'wanted to end her life.' He requested that an emergency medical technician come to her apartment to evaluate her.
Yet according the lawsui that was filed in an Oklahoma federal court, it was not the paramedics or an ambulance that responded. Instead, 'as many as 10 El Reno police' arrived and 'pushed their way through the door.' The grandmother, Lona Varner, who was lying in bed hooked up to an oxygen machine, responded by telling police to get out of her home.
Police admitted tasering the suicidal 86-yr-old woman in her hospital-type bed to incapacitate her after she told the police to get out. According to The Oklahoman, Officer Duran wrote in a police report that Lona Varner pulled a kitchen knife from under her pillow and threatened to kill him. The officer added she raised the knife above her head and said, 'If you come any closer, you’re getting the knife.' The cop allegedly tried talking to her to calm her down but 'nothing would work.'
Leaving the room must not have occurred to the ten cops since the lawsuit states, 'The police then proceeded to approach Ms. Varner in her bed and stepped on her oxygen hose until she began to suffer oxygen deprivation.'
Because the bedridden grandmother sat up a bit straighter, Officer Duran stated that she 'took a more aggressive posture in her bed,' and that he was fearful for his safety and the safety of others.
Tinsley said, 'Don’t taze my Granny!' But the cops said they would taser him instead. Tinsley was wrestled to the floor, handcuffed and forcibly removed from his grandmother’s apartment to wait in the back of a police car.
The lawsuit states that officers fired tasers at the bedridden woman, hitting her twice, 'causing burns to her chest, extreme pain and to pass out. The police then grabbed Ms. Varner by her forearms and jerked hands together, causing her soft flesh to tear and bleed on her bed; they then handcuffed' and arrested her.
That’s when the cops freed the grandson from the back of police car to ride in the ambulance with his granny. She went from the emergency room to a psychiatric ward 'at the direction of the El Reno police; she was held there for six days and released.
Wow! Life is certainly dangerous down there in Oklahoma, particularly if you are a bedridden, 86-year old woman. At least they didn’t give her a full-body pat down and shove her through a scanner, but then again, maybe they did that when they got her to the emergency room.
I wonder what they do to you down there, if you reach 90...