Skip to comments.N.J. State Police superintendent must answer questions in diabetes lawsuit
Posted on 01/23/2013 8:47:45 PM PST by neverdem
A federal magistrate judge has ordered State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes to answer questions about how troopers are trained to recognize and respond to people suffering from diabetic shock, a serious condition caused by extremely low blood sugar.
In 2011, Daniel Fried, 47, of Pennsylvania, sued two troopers claiming that, a year earlier, they failed to recognize he was suffering from shock on the side of the road, wrestled him to the ground, struck him with a baton, arrested him and denied him the juice he requested from his van.
The first trooper to arrive said in court documents he suspected diabetes but never passed that on to a second trooper, who later confronted Fried and took him down. The troopers said in an incident report that force was necessary because Fried was obstinate and did not follow commands.
The troopers also said in court documents they never received training on how to differentiate a diabetic emergency from intoxication, which causes similar symptoms, and they never saw a warning bracelet Fried says he has worn since his condition was diagnosed.
In September, Frieds attorney, Aaron Freiwald of Philadelphia, filed a motion to compel Fuentes to answer questions about training after the state Attorney Generals Office, which represents the State Police, refused to set dates for a deposition.
The office opposed the motion, arguing, in part that it was Frieds refusal to follow the troopers commands not his medical condition that resulted in his arrest, and interviewing Fuentes was unnecessary. The state also said troopers were law enforcement officers, not doctors, and should not be diagnosing medical problems.
But in a ruling Tuesday, Magistrate Judge Karen Williams disagreed. Freiwald said Fuentes will be deposed under oath within the next 30 days.
We understand Col. Fuentes is in charge...
(Excerpt) Read more at nj.com ...
FReepmail me if you want on or off the diabetes ping list.
Cops are not doctors nor EMT’s, they cannot be expected or required to diagnose such things. As a matter of fact cops are not legally required to stop criminals from criminalizing you.
This is a serious issue. People in diabetic shock behave as though intoxicated, when they are actually in real trouble.
Years ago I saw a diabetic gentleman successfully defend himself against a bogus DUI charge that was “misdiagnosed” by the cops. The arresting pig lied through his teeth in court and was caught by conflicting evidence and testimony. It was with huge satisfaction that I watched that pig get publicly skinned by the judge.
That's exactly right. So why did they take it upon themselves to decide it was not a medical emergency?
“Cops are not doctors nor EMTs, they cannot be expected or required to diagnose such things”
So we just let them have their heads and let them beat the crap out of diabetics?
The basic problem as I see it is cops very nearly always take the position that the person under suspicion is a criminal and they act accordingly. The biggest gun problem we have is this country is letting those with size 44 coveralls and size 4 hats have loaded guns and a badge that lets them get away with murder routinely.
“This is a serious issue. People in diabetic shock behave as though intoxicated, when they are actually in real trouble.”
My wife is a Type II Diabetic and even she has a bracelet. Time the cops took the time to see those kinds of things. You don’t have to be an EMT to do that much.
They should not be beating anyone up
cops are paid very well and benefitted very well....they damn well better be able to access very common medical problems, such as low blood sugar, which is quite obvious in many ways...gee, I’ll bet even the Boy Scouts know what to do....
Someone in our family was a cop, and he said it is very difficult to tell the difference sometimes between a drunk and a diabetes patient suffering from low blood sugar. It makes it worse that the diabetic in such a state can be unpredictable and combative, and that some diabetics do not carry identification that indicates they are diabetic nor do they carry glucose tablets.
For people who criticizes cops, they need to realize that cops sometimes have to make split second decisions that might make the difference between life or death for themselves and/or others. Not many people have what it takes to cope with what cops do and experience what they do. Try walking into a house where someone has been dead for days or weeks, coming upon a car wreck where the first thing you see is severed fingers, or maintaining your calm while arresting someone who molested kids. IMO, cops are underpaid.
Should be easy enough for cops to recognize they might be dealing with a medical condition, e.g. deafness, blindness, diabetes coma, ..... broken bones, bleeding ~ and certainly we can train them to pull out their handy dandy taxpayer provided cellphones and call headquarters first before tackling someone needlessly.
If they can't learn that, then why are they still cops?
Note, several years back one of our Boy Scout's fathers was murdered by the guards at Gallaudet University in DC when they failed to recognize that he couldn't understand their shouted demands. He was profoundly deaf.
For those of you who don't know, that's a school for the deaf ~ where it is reasonable to expect the cops to know something about deaf people.
Was this person in diabetic shock, or having a hypoglycemic event? From personal experience, one makes one sleepy to comatose, the other makes one loopy/dizzy. Both involve some incoherence.
Read this part again: “...wrestled him to the ground, struck him with a baton, arrested him and denied him the juice he requested from his van. “
Sounds like the guy knew he was having blood sugar problems and tried to tell the arrogant (yes I said arrogant...I’ve come across the type) cops but the stupid (yes I said stupid) cops wouldn’t even let him have the juice he requested. Most normal people understand that a diabetic in such a situation needs sugar immediately. The idiot (yes I said idiot) cops weren’t clued in that the guy had a problem even after he tried to tell them? Of course not...they don’t listen because to them everyone is a crook.
The “Us verses Them” syndrome.
Screw ‘em. They shouldn’t have badges and they sure as hell shouldn’t be running around with guns and clubs.
Your attempt at excusing this leaves out the part where the guy apparently tried to tell them he was having a problem...why do you think he would have requested his juice and why did the wonderful cops deny him?
And sorry, your sob story about the trauma those poor guys go through each day finding fingers and such doesn’t give them a pass.
So if they can't tell the difference, explain why they would make a decision that it wasn't low blood sugar, as they did in this case.
It's a shabby way to treat a citizen, wouldn't you say?
The arresting pig lied through his teeth in court and was caught by conflicting evidence and testimony. It was with huge satisfaction that I watched that pig get publicly skinned by the judge.
But he kept his job. We need to eliminate all corrupt government officials from the White House to the local code inspector if we want to save the country. Guilliani gets credit for lowering NYC’s murder rate by coming down on lesser crimes and the same process works on the government. We can stop the treason that is occurring at high levels by punishing all government employee misdoings. They need to be reminded who is in charge.
In this particular case, the bigger question in my mind is: Why is someone who is prone to diabetic shock episodes permitted to drive a car in the first place? Things may be different now, but I was always under the impression that someone with epilepsy (to give one example) cannot get a driver’s license because of the danger they present on the road in the event of an epileptic episode.
I only read the excerpted part, but where does it say he was prone to diabetic shock episodes? Other than the fact that he is diabetic. Are you saying we should take the drivers licenses away from 8.3% of Americans because they MIGHT have a low blood sugar event? (Full disclosure, I am a Type 1 diabetic)
I was not addressing this particular case but speaking about cops in general. Yes, they make mistakes, and yes, there are bad cops. Most cops try to do a good job, and they do things other people could not stomach. I do not consider that a sob story. It is reality.
LEOs in all states are considered First Responders...and are required to have basic training and knowledge in medical emergencies....which include diabetic shock.
Judging by the refusal of the LEO agency to answer the deposition....they are well aware that they are First Responders....and are to know how to handle diabetic shock.
The basic problem as I see it is cops
very nearly always take the position that the person under suspicion EVERYONE THEY SEE is a criminal and they act accordingly.
Why else would they refer to the public as "civilians" rather than citizens? I was taught that a cop was just another citizen entrusted with keeping the peace by enforcing the law, not acting as though every encounter were a gunpoint takedown.
Low blood glucose, i.e. hypoglycemia, can present itself as a seizure. There can be a first time for everything. The question is, is the individual medically stable or not?
The story didn't explain why the individual became hypoglycemic, e.g. decreased food intake for whatever reason, change in diabetic meds, etc.
Here's the regulation in NY: Medical Conditions of a Driver and Accident Re-examination
P.S. IIRC, glucose is the only fuel that your brain can use.
Thanks for the rectification Don W,
For a time, I was “friends” with our retired chief of police (his third wife was a family friend). But as time wore on, from the things he told me, about his “career in law enforcement,” and how he “deserved” a pension that was 3X what he made on the job, I decided he was a bad choice for a personal association. He personifies what you said. He viewed everyone as a potential lawbreaker. He once told my wife he could follow her down the street in her car and find something he could stop her for in less than a mile. He also laughed when he told me that he used to waive his gun at motorists who followed too closely (which is a felony if you or I did it).