Monday, October 01, 2007

I call BS

posted by The Sailor @ 5:13 PM Permalink

UPDATE 2: Blogger ate the original post, so no doubt the update below was a bit confusing. Here's a quick recap:
Phoenix police were investigating Sunday how a 45-year-old woman died over the weekend while in police custody at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport.

Carol Ann Gotbaum may have accidentally strangled herself while trying to get out of her handcuffs, Phoenix Police Department spokesman Sgt. Andy Hill said Saturday.

"According to investigators, it appeared as though Ms. Gotbaum had possibly tried to manipulate the handcuffs from behind her to the front, got tangled up in the process, and they ended up around her neck area," he said.
After reading that is when I called BS.

UPDATE: I called BS in my original post. New information is in and now ... I'm screaming BS:
She was taken to a holding cell with her hands cuffed behind her back, said Phoenix Police Sgt. Andy Hill. Minutes later, she was found unconscious with the handcuffs in front of her, "pressed up against her neck area," Hill said. Emergency workers were unable to revive her.

Hill said it was possible that Gotbaum may have accidentally strangled herself while trying to escape from the handcuffs.

But former law enforcement officers and police tactics trainers said it would be very unusual for that to happen.

"I can't imagine anatomically how you could do that," said Roy Bedard, a former police officer who now trains officers in defense tactics, including how to use handcuffs and other restraints. "I have a hard time seeing how you could get tangled up in them."

[...]
most people whose hands are restrained behind their backs try to slip their hands underneath their legs, said Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent. It is possible for people who are double jointed to move their arms above their heads, but even then, Bedard said, their arms would usually be extended and not near their necks.
[...]
Dorothy Dietrich, a magician and escape artist, said she also was not sure how someone could choke themselves to death while trying to escape from handcuffs. "That would be very hard to do," she said.

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14 Comments:

At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sounds very fishy to me. How can anyone choke themselves while handcuffed? "She was very agitated and irate and angry". They handcuffed her and took her to the holding room, where she kept screaming, authorities said. So some cop goes back to the cell to shut her up and she winds up dead. Accident my ass.

 
At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how they use such vague yet descriptive terms such as "disruptive". I wonder if anyone will be charged with involuntary manslaughter?

 
At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Gotbaum's tragic death in custody is regrettable. However, she is at fault here. Ms Gotbaum sense of entitlement and subsequent irrational/disruptive behavior after missing her flight left the airport police no other option than arrest her. I was there. She was out of control.

Keeping detainees in handcuffs while in a holding cell is SOP.

A 47 year old mother should have known better. Would this even be newsworthy if it were a black or hispanic male?

 
At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can tell you right now all cops are liars and CYA!!! It is very bad for citizens, yet it is funny how everybody is apathetic until it happens to you!!! it makes me furious....when military patrol the airports after 911, at least cops were in check, now they are out of control and think, thanks to Bush, they are at war with all citizens and everybody is guilty no matter what, we don't have a democracy to protect anymore, if you think we do, you are dreaming.....you will NEVER hear the truth if you trust the cops to tell you....this is a FACT!!! i.e."she went crazy for no reason, we were minding our own business, blah, blah, blah...."

 
At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Mike Stanfield said...

I can't comment on the Airport Police division of the PPD, but I *can* tell you, after 10 years of working for Delta Airlines, our official internal company policy is, "Blame the passenger".

This means, when confronted by problems OUR dismal service has created, we simply hover one hand over the 911 key, waiting for the inevitable outburst. Lost you luggage, dispatched your flight early, killed you beloved family pet. Oh well, tough luck. Hey, wait, now you wanna scream and yell? Officer! Arrest this out of control maniac! This person, "went crazy for no reason".

Of course, our "official company spokeperson" from meida affairs will claim otherwise. Hope to see this on CNN! Thanks...

 
At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Security at the Phoenix airport seems to have a rather short fuze. I once made an Air-West connection there that was slightly delayed. A few of the passengers registered complaints with the airline folks.

Next thing you know, there are a couple of airport security guys there with German Shepards. The sheep (er, customers) shut up real fast. This was pre-9/11, BTW.

I was absolutely amazed that they so quickly escalated a few mild passenger complaints into a potential major confrontation involving the threat of deadly force. From then on, I avoided the Phoenix airport and Air-West, if I possibly could.

 
At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was trained as a forensic pathologist and this case sounds very suspicious. About the only legitimate possibility is the so-called "vaso-vagal" response.

In a few persons, even mild pressure on the neck will cause a potentially-lethal cardiac arrythmia. This without leaving any detectable trace. The LA cops would kill a few persons a year this way using choke-holds until they finally abandoned the practice.

Also, putting someone handcuffed face down with a knee in their back can cause lack of oxygen. This can also set off a potentially-lethal cardiac arrythmia.

Nobody notices the odd real crimnal dispatched this way. But you have to be careful with middle class middle-aged white mothers of two.

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger The Sailor said...

anonymous said: "Ms. Gotbaum's tragic death in custody is regrettable. However, she is at fault here. "

So that's it, she deserved to die because she was disruptive!? And yes, hispanic, black, anyone who dies suspiciously in police custody would be covered by me.

There is no way I know of to strangle yourself with handcuffs, especially given the time frame of 5 to 10 minutes.

I call BS.

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger drp said...

Agreed. As Dr Michael Baden just said on FOX, people die all the die under restraint and it is usually asphyxia. He also said he had never heard of strangulation by handcuffs.

The lesson here is that anytime you use such restraining methods on somone, you run the risk of killing them. So don't use them just because somebody is a pain-in-the ass or because you can.

This lady was really connected back home. I evision a really big and successful lawsuit against the whomever is fiscally responsible here. For "improper training" if nothing else.

 
At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This lady was really connected back home. I evision a really big and successful lawsuit against the whomever is fiscally responsible here. For "improper training" if nothing else.

Are you kidding me?

 
At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at everyone jumping to conclusions. Not even about the story itself but about the intentions of the other posters... I think this woman was completely at fault and deserved to be arrested based on what I am reading. However, that does not mean I think she deserved to die!!!!

Some of you people are just reactionary idiots for saying the things you do. No wonder this country is going to hell in a handbasket with you people making decisions.

 
At 7:42 PM, Blogger The Sailor said...

Ummm, decisions, decisions ... or maybe just calling bull$hit and asking for an impartial investigation.

Does anyone have a problem with an impartial investigation?

 
At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No wonder this country is going to hell in a handbasket with you people making decisions."

Since when are "we the people" getting to make any decisions? From where I sit it's Bushco that are running things. . . and screwing them up.

 
At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard on CNN this morning that the Lady was screaming, "I'm not a terrorist, I'm a sick mother of two." As a Diabetic, when I need what I need, I can be extremely disruptive. The disease takes over.
Airlines have been dealing with "disruptive" people since day one, why should the police be called when talking would probably do the trick?

 

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