Chained Childbirth

This is awful:

Latiana Walton went through most of her labor at Stroger Hospital with an arm and leg chained to her bed, she remembers.

As contractions surged through her body, she could not move or change position to relieve the pain. A Cook County correctional officer repeatedly refused to remove the restraints, she said, even when a doctor objected, saying that he was unable to administer an epidural.

"I actually said to the guard, 'Where am I going?' I'm crying. I'm in pain," recalled Walton, 26. "'I'm not going to get up and run out of the hospital.'"

On Aug. 27, 2008, Walton, who had been arrested after she missed a court date on a retail theft charge, became one of an estimated 50 women who give birth every year while in the custody of the Cook County Jail.

Shackling women during labor is illegal; Illinois became the first state to ban the practice in 1999, and nine other states have followed suit. But more than 20 former jail inmates, including Walton, have filed lawsuits since 2008 against the Cook County sheriff's office, which runs the jail, alleging that they were handcuffed by the wrist or shackled by the leg while giving birth. Most of these women, according to their attorney, had been arrested for nonviolent crimes and were awaiting trial...

Officials at the sheriff's office say their policy follows the law. A pregnant woman can be restrained, according to the policy, until a medical official confirms that she is, in fact, in labor. "When does 'labor' begin? Our officers aren't trained to know, the state law doesn't say, so we rely on medical personnel to advise us," Steve Patterson, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, wrote in an e-mail. "Once a medical person advises us someone is in labor, restraints of whatever sort are removed."

But the plaintiffs' attorney argues that restraints were, in his clients' cases, removed too late or not at all. He contends that sheriff's officials interpret "labor" as the moments immediately before birth, and that guards sometimes deny requests by doctors and nurses to remove the handcuffs and shackles. "When you talk to these women, they say, 'Yeah, when I'm delivering and I'm pushing, that's what they consider labor,'" said plaintiffs' attorney Thomas G. Morrissey. "They remain in shackles and handcuffs until the baby is about to be delivered."

At risk of getting overly high-minded here, this seems like the sort of thing that goes hand in hand with a generation of tough-on-crime talk, and a country willing to put 1 in 100 of its citizens behind bars. It all can have a dehumanizing effect. These aren't people first, they're criminals first. Clearly there's something larger at work when law enforcement officials see a woman in labor not as as a mother-to-be in need of medical attention, but an accused thief and flight risk in need of shackling right up until delivery.

The Cook County lawsuit echoes a story last November from Maricopa County, Arizona, where sheriff's deputies kept a suspected illegal immigrant shackled to her bed while she gave birth. And of course in Maricopa County, of all places, there's ample evidence that Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies see immigrants as something less than human.

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  • You don't say!||

    And of course in Maricopa County, of all places, there's ample evidence that Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies see immigrants as something less than human.

    I wonder why?

  • Brian E||

    Yo, fuck you don't say.

  • ||

    So... you're saying immigrants are less than human because a bunch of murderers are latino...

    Actually you're right, which is why we should put ALL latinos in jail for precrime.

    Hey a bunch of terrorists are Muslim. We should put all Muslims in jail too.

  • ||

    I hear a white guy killed somebody once.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    You know who else killed people?

  • Sean||

    Hitler

  • WTF||

    I hear a white guy killed somebody once.

    I call bullshit. Cite.

  • ||

    I just murdered you and you're just too stupid to realize it.

  • WTF||

    I was there and I would have remembered that, so bullshit.

  • ||

    Did you say something? Is the supposed to be English? Because all I heard was you voiding your bowels after I SUPER-KILLED YOU!

  • WTF||

    Still not dead.

  • WTF||

    BTW: Is the supposed to be English?

    I might ask you a similar (albeit hopefully grammatically more correct) question.

    And yeah, I had to type this very carefully and preview, to check for stupid typos. So if there is one in here I missed, fuck.

    Still not dead.

  • ||

    You're not worth double-killin', so I guess you get off this time.

  • Lowdog||

    I've said it before: LEO's are exposed to some of the worst sorts of people around, and many (most?) start thinking that everyone is as bad as that violent tweaker that they just arrested last week.

    Add to that the 'War on ....' and you get cops calling non-cops 'citizens', as if they are not, and all these other abuses.

    Something has to give.

  • WTF||

    and you get cops calling non-cops 'citizens' 'civilians'

    ... I think is what you mean to say.

  • WTF||

    Something has to give.

    Let the bodies hit the floor.

  • ||

    Thank god you didn't link to a youtube vid. Otherwise Warty would be pissed.

  • Warty||

    Not cool, dude. Not cool.

  • Warty||

    Besides, the lyric to that godawful song is "something's got to give". Shitwad.

  • WTF||

    Yeah, yeah, I know. Call it poetic license. Close enough.

  • Ted S.||

    I figured he was referencing an ill-fated Marilyn Monroe project.

  • Lowdog||

    Indeed, that is what I meant to say, thank you. :)

  • Michael S. Langston||

    At risk of getting overly high-minded here, this seems like the sort of thing that goes hand in hand with a generation of tough-on-crime talk, and a country willing to put 1 in 100 of its citizens behind bars.

    This is overly high minded & semi-irrelevant without a closer look at many other factors.

    I agree with most here that the "justice" system provides anything but and is in need of severe reform, including a reduction in the number of laws, but the percentage of people in jail have nothing to do with this woman's plight nor does it show anything conclusive about those in jail.

    Should she have been treated this way? Probably not.

    Does that mean 1% is too high a number?

    Who knows - but this doesn't serve as evidence.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    BTW - Always love your writing & articles. Just an observation about this instant, nothing more.

  • Radley Balko||

    Fair enough, but my point is more about the effect it's having on the rest of us. To give one example, not only is much of the country okay with the idea of prison rape as extra-judicial punishment, we tend to find it amusing. And we seem to find it especially amusing when applied to white collar and other nonviolent criminals.

  • The Gobbler||

    "And we seem to find it especially amusing when applied to white collar and other nonviolent criminals."

    [citation needed]

    BTW, who's this "we" you reference?

  • Radley Balko||

    Google: "Bernie Madoff" and PMITA

    Or just Google PMITA.

  • The Gobbler||

    Fail.

  • The Gobbler||

    Really, I'm a huge fan of what you do, but people want EVERYONE in prison to be pounded in the ass irrespective of the type of crime commited. Think convicted child molesters and 16-year-old gangbangers convicted of murder.

    It's ubiquitous.

  • WTF||

    people want EVERYONE in prison to be pounded in the ass irrespective of the type of crime commited

    I generally tend to consider myself to be part of "everyone", and I most certainly do not want this.

    Pretty much the only types I wish that type of treatment upon are rapists and child killers.

    The guy who jacked up the 7-11 for a few hundred bucks without hurting anyone? Meh, I don't care, as long as he gets sent to prison. Being in prison is miserable enough. I've got no desire for the guy to get ass-raped too.

  • dfd||

    "Everyone" was obviously hyperbole. But I think there is something to it if you ever read the comment sections from general newspaper stories about almost any crime or violation (and even some simple mistakes or poor judgment not rising to the level of a crime). The amount of anger, disgust and rage aimed at anyone who finds himself in any kind of trouble, even minor, is disturbing.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Pretty much the only types I wish that type of treatment upon are rapists and child killers.

    We may wish that on them, but you have to recognize objectively that the law must apply equally to every crime and blind to the character of the victim.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Even The Gobbler is guilty of it. Would you say that you want female prisoners to "get pounded in the vag"?

    No? If not, why not? Answer: Double Standards.

  • The Gobbler||

    I meant "everyone" in a non-literal context.

  • WTF||

    Actually, upon re-reading, I see that you didn't say "everyone wants", you said "people want." So yeah, I suppose that is on its face a true statement. You didn't say "all people". There certainly are some people who want that.

  • Old Man With Candy||

    Which ones?

  • Michael||

    I don't know of any studies tallying the number of don't-drop-the-soap jokes in circulation, but I have also never came across anyone that treated the subject straight faced in casual conversation. A lot of commentary regarding convicted white collar criminals tends to gravitate toward the sexual proclivities of their potential cellmates. It seems to come from some sort of populist desire for vengeance. Tell me that you've never heard this.

  • ||

    I wonder how much of an escape risk a woman in labor really is? I mean, I hear that's painful.

  • ||

    It's hard to move a step between contractions and, if the pig allowed the woman to get an epidural (if she wants one) she can't move her lower body at all and has a catheter inserted, to boot.

    There's no flight risk from a woman in labor, and the pigs can't justify this in any way. It's torture perpetrated by psychopaths, simple as that.

  • ||

    I was thinking that the epidural might be an impediment, too, but I wasn't sure how much.

  • WTF||

    Complete and total. A woman with an epidural simply is going nowhere other than the cold, hard floor if she tries to get up and run.

  • Joe Arpaio||

    Epidurals for everybody!

  • ||

    I had an epidural with my first child (NEVER AGAIN!) and I'll put it to you this way:

    I used my elbows to pull my top half from the birth bed to the recovery bed, while my mother and a nurse hefted my bottom half.

    Even if a woman could figure a way to walk while completely numb from the waist down, that sack of urine strapped to her thigh could make things difficult.

    (No, there is nothing beautiful about pregnancy or childbirth - I love it anyway)

  • ||

    There is beauty in pregnancy. Childbirth, I agree.

  • ||

    Well, ok. As a repeat offender, I'll concede that I've had my beautiful pregnant moments.

    I'm thinking more of the belching, constipation, heartburn, sciatia, round ligament pain, clumsiness borne of loosey-goosey joints... that stuff no one captures in portraits.

  • ||

    that stuff no one captures in portraits.

    My favorite part was when the OB sat me down after the delivery to examine the placenta for imperfections with him.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Quite honestly the most horrifying event inmy life was my daighter's birth...I swear I would rather fight Mike Tyson for 3 rounds that be in that room again. Now we had problems but still even without the extra issues it was wildly unpleasent. And I wasnt the one giving birth. Ohh, and pride? That goes right out the window.

    This chick should have made the cop stay in the room...he would never again treat a human being like that.
    (P.s. if he WAS in the room then there is no hell great enough for his actions)

  • ||

    Ohh, and pride? That goes right out the window.

    Actually, it goes in the little bucket they flip the poop into.

    Oh, I'm sorry, too much information?

    (I'm sorry your wife had an unpleasant birth experience. It's all-too-common.)

  • dfd||

    I (male) don't have any kids, but I've always, only slightly jokingly, said that if/when I do I am going to go retro and sit in the waiting room until it's all over and the baby is nicely cleaned up for presentation. Then come and get me. I think they had the right idea back in the 60's or whenever that was standard practice. Granted, such behavior might not be in the best interest of the relationship, but then again neither is having me there to see all that.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Our room had magnificent ceiling tiles...many many dots.

  • -||

    Agreed. Just like on Mad Men, when things were way better. Don Draper in a Lamaze class? Unthinkable.

  • T||

    My wife is insisting that I do just that. And I'm okay with it, frankly.

  • -||

    The only thing more horrifying than childbirth that I can think of is the "birth" scene in the original Alien.

  • ||

    There's no flight risk from a woman in labor, and the pigs can't justify this in any way. It's torture perpetrated by psychopaths, simple as that.

    I wonder how much malpractice liability the Cook County Sheriff's office assumes when women give birth while in their custody?

  • ||

    None. As a governmental entity, they have sovereign immunity.

  • ||

    As a governmental entity, they have sovereign immunity.

    Semantics aside, who is it that these women are suing then?

  • Invisible Finger||

    Semantics aside, who is it that these women are suing then?

    They aren't suing for malpractice. So my guess is the Sheriff's Dept.

  • ||

    Sovereign immunity only applies to actions taken while performing legitimate duties. Blatantly breaking the anti-shackling law doesn't seem to fall under that category.

  • dfd||

    Sovereign immunity applies to the state and says the state cannot be sued without its permission. It applies only when one seeks to sue the state itself (i.e. if the woman who was shackled attempted to file a tort claim against the State of Illinois). The individuals involved sometimes have other forms of immunity (e.g. qualified immunity) from certain tort claims when acting within the scope of their employment but that is separate from sovereign immunity. Also, immunity applies to civil actions, not criminal. There is never immunity from prosecution for committing crimes while on the job.

  • ||

    Hm. Could they be charged in World Court for crimes against humanity?

  • Old Man With Candy||

    "Could they be charged in World Court for crimes against humanity?"

    No, they're not Israeli.

  • WTF||

    Although that will be the very first defense they plead, sovereign immunity is not absolute. Treatment that "shocks the conscience" is not protected as a discretionary act of someone acting in his official capacity.

  • ||

    Note that my response was to a question about civil immunity for malpractice.

  • Old Fashioned Guy||

    Labor pains are an old wive's tale, like salmonella. They scream for the attention. Child birth is totally painless, like passing a stone.

    ...and women voters? Shyeah, I'll be over here in my spaceship.

  • ||

    I'm not okay with it and don't find it amusing and I'm not sure "much" of the country does either. The punishment for crime is incarceration and loss of individual liberty (and sometimes life), not incarceration and rape, shanking, various and assorted other types of gang violence and guard brutality and it pisses me off that this shit is de rigueur in "my" justice system. (Neither should prison be a place where you can score every recreational drug known to man or get your gender reassigned.)

    We need a better method for dealing with non-violent types (work farms? house arrest?) and to keep the violent, career criminals in isolation from each other (including during meals).

    And no woman should be kept in shackles during any phase of childbirth.

  • ||

    After reading through the rest of the comments, I decided I didn't want my comments to be misleading. I am a member of the "tough on crime" crowd, I don't think all cops are pigs and the vast (vast) majority of people charged with crimes have actually committed them (even Alan Dershowitz admits that). And there's no way in hell I'd want to live in the society many of you would have.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    It all can have a dehumanizing effect.
    This.
    Having 1 percent of your population jailed serves as evidence of something about the regime, and it ain't good.

  • MNG||

    +1

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    A lot of things are illegal that wouldn't be illegal if I were king, but it's also possible that it says something about the population and not just the regime.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I'm sure the regime agrees with you, NEM.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Does the regime force people to kill for Air Jordans, for example?

  • WTF||

    Right - everyone in prison is there for killing someone over their sneakers.

  • The Gobbler||

    RIPPED FROM TODAY'S PAPERS:

    St. Paul teen gets 15 years in 2008 slaying of boy who refused handshake

    http://www.twincities.com/ci_15627427

  • ||

    St. Paul teen gets 15 years in 2008 slaying of boy who refused handshake

    Please don't forget that tHe plural of anecdote is data

  • The Gobbler||

    Great. You want me to link to the story of Corey Brown who was gunned for his Morgan State throwback jersey?

    I mean really, how much "data" is required before someone like you will finally accept that a disproportionate number of black teens kill each other over really stupid shit?

  • ||

    I mean really, how much "data" is required before someone like you will finally accept that a disproportionate number of black teens kill each other over really stupid shit?

    As opposed to non-blacks or non-teens that kill each other over really important shit? Disproportionate to what exactly?

    Is killing someone because you were cheated on "smart" ? Is murder because you were cheated out of money "smart"?

    You seem to want to single out a certain demographic to prove something, but your whole premise is nonsense. Most murders, regardless of the demographics of the murderer, are done over stupid shit. So what exactly is your point?

  • The Gobbler||

    Go check out the US murder rates by age, gender and race:

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_04.....urder.html

  • RM||

    You're looking for table 2.7, and it is fairly telling (unfortunately).

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    That's why I said "example" not "exhaustive list."

    As I implied above, there is definitely an issue with the scope of activity which the regime deems illegal. That doesn't excuse the non-trivial portion of the prison population who are there because of acts which did harm to someone else.

    Perhaps it is because I am exposed to more US than world news, but I have the distinct impression that there is a particular lack of respect for property and even life in large segments of this country. If anyone can show me stats to prove that I've reached the wrong conclusion on this, that would be fine.

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    It would help if you exposed yourself to some more world news then.

    Except for homicides the US has substantially lower crime rates than most other countries.

    Compare rates of auto theft and burglary in England and Australia, for example.

    And even accepting your statements on demographics and crimes these homicides and violent crimes don't account for incarcerating people at the rate this country does.

  • ||

    When the population is made up of scared little bitches who need to be taken care of by the worst among us, yeah, it says something.

  • Brian E||

    I'm calling that one double bullshit with a side of what the fuck are you talking about, man.

  • Suki||

    You can't call mongrel in chief a regimeist for long and get away with it.

  • The Gobbler||

    If the president says it it isn't racism.

  • Suki||

    LULZ

  • Max||

    Think of the folks who sell shackles and cuffs. One man's inhumane treatment is another man's lucrative market. You fail to see the invisible hand at work that will even it all out in the long run.

  • ||

    This is a pretty poor parody of Max. For one thing, it's semi-coherent. Or at least more coherent than most of Max's posts.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I dunno, Andrew. I don't give Max credit for much. He probably think "fallacy" is just a fancy way of saying "broken window argument."

  • ||

    He probably think "fallacy" is just a fancy way of saying "broken window argument."

    Dang, i thought you were gonna go with a blow job joke.

  • ||

    I, too, was disappointed.

  • ||

    I dunno, Andrew. I don't give Max credit for much. He probably think "fallacy" is just a fancy way of saying "broken window argument."

    Isn't fallacy a fancy word for penis?

  • ||

    Wow, thats pretty wild when you think about it.

    Lou
    www.anonymous-surfing.es.tc

  • WTF||

    ...or even when you don't.

  • ||

    One of the (few) legitimate purposes of a federal DOJ would be to police the police.

    This should be a DOJ action, complete with criminal liability for those involved.

    Yet the DOJ practically never gets involved in any of the thousands of cases of police abuse in this country.

    Where are all the "good cops" I keep hearing about, again?

  • ||

    There was Serpico...Oh wait, he was a narcotics officer, so fuck him too.

  • Antonin||

    Busy acting professional. Duh.

  • Brian E||

    They're too busy pulling people over for not wanting to drive around cops.

  • ||

    A district court noted that Pacheco did not make eye contact with the police and that he had violated no traffic laws and therefore suppressed the evidence obtained from the illegal stop.

    Excuse Me? Stepping out of my complete and utter absence of faith in police, lets just assume its NOT a completely fucked up piece of power trip....try, i know its asking a lot....but what does his eye contact have to do with, i dunno, ANYTHING?!

  • Cyto||

    You stopped quoting too soon.

    A three-judge appellate panel disagreed, insisting that the officers had reasonable suspicion that a crime was taking place.

    “The reasonable-suspicion standard is not high,” Judge Renee L. Worke wrote in an unpublished opinion.

    The appeals court had previously been of the opinion that evasive behavior did not justify a stop, but in 1989 the state supreme court overruled the appellate judges in a similar case, Minnesota v. Johnson.

    “The district court apparently interpreted Johnson to require an officer to make eye contact with a driver in order for conduct to be considered evasive,” Worke explained.

    So a higher court overruled the suppression of evidence and allowed his conviction of driving on a suspended license. Based on "he looked like he didn't want to get involved with the cops". Which pretty much defines everybody. I know I'd rather not get stopped by the cops today. And I really don't have anything to hide, so what am I worried about?

  • ||

    They're only in cop movies, but even then they're all reckless antiheroes who will take any risk to see (their version of) justice served.

  • ||

    Yo, Fuck Righteous Kill. What a pile of pig fellating, recklessness admiring, above-the-law asshatery.....and that's just the impression i got from the commercials....

    Oh, also, Fuck Deniro and Pacino. They should be outlawed from ever being in another cop or mafia movie. Enough is enough. Horror, Comedy, SciFi, hell, even Drama....fine. But no more jackboot thugs, pls.

  • ||

    You didn't like Heat, I take it?

  • RM||

    Heat was fucking brilliant. It was almost 20 years ago, though.

  • ||

    Where are all the "good cops" I keep hearing about, again?

    In the minds of cop defenders/apologists, and Justice Scalia

  • Invisible Finger||

    Where are all the "good cops" I keep hearing about, again?

    Going to school on their off hours to learn a respectable trade.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I always thought the tough-on-crime folks coincided with the think-of-the-children folks. I suppose if the baby didn't want to be put at risk it shouldn't try to come into the world in police custody.

  • ||

    It was probably one of them there ANCHOR BABIES...god I fucking HATE'EM.

  • ||

    Shackling women during labor is illegal

    But shackling them during conception, well, that's something else entirely.

  • Mustaf Herod Apyur Poupr||

    heh...!

  • The Gobbler||

    Yes it is:

    Another woman has come forward claiming Roman Polanski brutally raped her at Jack Nicholson's house, the same place he raped 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977.

    Edith Vogelhut tells Radaronline.com that she went to Nicholson's house with Polanski after a dinner party one night in 1974. They had a drink and as she prepared to have sex with him, Polanski drugged, handcuffed and anally raped her repeatedly.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....61194.html

  • WTF||

    If it had happened in prison, it would have been ok with most people.

  • MIkey||

    The comments at HuffPo are always enlightening into the Progressive mindset. She's attacking one of their own, so obviously this accusation is just for the book sales.

  • ||

    people first, they're criminals first. Clearly there's something larger at work when law enforcement officials see a woman in labor not as as a mother-to-be in need of medical attention, but an accused thief and flight risk in need of shackling right up until delivery.

    Fuck that; a screaming pregnant woman might develop superhuman strength and pose a threat to the deputy.

    They're just baboons with guns.

  • Brian E||

    Next week on Fringe: A screaming pregnant woman develops superhuman strength after being impregnated by a man who's secretly half carpenter ant.

  • Draco||

    I think Lowdog (above) is absolutely right. But it's more than that. It's that LEOs are themselves likely to be morally traumatized by the failings of an overly "liberal" justice system: not only are they surrounded by perps in the jails, they're surrounded by them on the streets, and they know how often the perps go free on technicalities, or because jails are full, or what have you. And they find themselves arresting the same perps over and over again. And perps often get less time or punishment than they "deserve." This causes them to take it out on the perps that they do manage to take into custody.

    So, on my theory (and I'm not in law enforcement, and have little connection with anyone who does, so this is just a theory), the problem here may be caused not by the fact that we have "as many as 1 in 100" in jail but by the fact that we have "only 1 in 100" in jail. In other words, maybe 2 in 100 is the "right" number, and LEOs vent their frustration by practicing cruelty like this.

  • ||

    Maybe a career that offers almost unlimited authority over others with nonexistent punishment for wrongdoing attracts psychopaths with control issues.

  • ||

    Almost forgot:

    It's that LEOs are themselves likely to be morally traumatized by the failings of an overly "liberal" justice system

    This sentence here sums up the wrongheaded stance of skeered Americans who have watched too many Dirty Harry movies.

    Draco, I suggest you spend some time within the criminal justice system, maybe you would stop wasting your time dreaming up dubious "theories".

  • Draco||

    So, you critique is perhaps best directed at those LEOs who maintain that "stance" and not at me. You see, there is a difference between describing a state of mind that someone might hold, and subscribing to that state of mind yourself.

    In conclusion, think before you accuse, and maybe you won't so often appear the fool on these message boards - or elsewhere.

  • ||

    Could you please reconcile this:

    So, on my theory (and I'm not in law enforcement, and have little connection with anyone who does, so this is just a theory), the problem here may be caused not by the fact that we have "as many as 1 in 100" in jail but by the fact that we have "only 1 in 100" in jail. In other words, maybe 2 in 100 is the "right" number, and LEOs vent their frustration by practicing cruelty like this. (emphasis added)

    With this:

    So, you critique is perhaps best directed at those LEOs who maintain that "stance" and not at me. You see, there is a difference between describing a state of mind that someone might hold, and subscribing to that state of mind yourself.

    Also, your first paragraph there isn't the slightest distancing yourself from the thoughts contained there within. These ideas are presented as your own and not the "stance" of law enforcement.

    If you wish to contrast your true beliefs on the issue with those you conjure for law enforcement officers, please feel free to do so by elucidating your convictions.

    As to this:

    In conclusion, think before you accuse, and maybe you won't so often appear the fool on these message boards - or elsewhere.

    Like I give a fuck.

  • Draco||

    "little connection" means I've had some. The psychology that was on display in those few interactions provides the only "evidence" I have for my theory.

    And just to be sure I satisfy you and the other readers on this point, I was trying to get inside the head of my subject (the frustrated LEO) and see it from his perspective.

    I did not claim, and do not claim, that this was a morally or philosophically or politically justifiable perspective, nor one that I myself hold.

    I have long maintained that we should pay higher salaries for LEOs, to attract a higher caliber officer, who'd be less likely to hold the psychology I've been describing.

  • The Gobbler||

    The Teacher's Unions strongly disagree with your assessment.

  • ||

    Poe's Law states:

    “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing.”

    Poe's Law points out that it is hard to tell parodies of fundamentalism (or, more generally, any crackpot theory) from the real thing, since they both seem equally insane. Conversely, real fundamentalism can easily be mistaken for a parody of fundamentalism

  • ||

    Seems a lot of typing for parody, but what do I know?

  • Bünzli||

    That whole "people going free on a technicality" meme is utter bullshit. The American legal system is not biased in favor of the accused. In fact it's more like getting thrown in jail on a technicality.

    And even if 9 out of 10 ten people arrested and charged were let off, that still wouldn't excuse unprofessional behavior from the police. If the job's too hard, get another job!

    So no, the problem is not that the US imprisons too few people. It's that a high percentage of LEOs seem to be either little bitches who "fear for their lives" at the drop of a hat and can't deal with little old ladies without deploying their tazer or moral cowards who look the other way.

  • ||

    Yup

  • robc||

    Criminals could be kept it jail the appropriate amount of time if it was say .1% instead of 1%. Plenty of jail room then. Get rid of all the people in jail for drug offenses and etc and there is plenty of room for the real criminals.

  • ||

    She's a criminal. She wouldn't have been in custody if she wasn't guilty. The officer was just doing his duty to protect (and serve) all of us from the criminal element.

    *barf*

  • cynical||

    Aha, your secret identity is revealed! Too careless, barfman.

  • ||

    Has anyone considered that the cop took these precautions because he was too fuckin' fat to chase down an escaped woman in labor?

  • Abdul||

    No, but he was so fat that the Obstetrician initially believed that he was the patient.

  • Abdul||

    Any chance she was faking the pregnancy just to get drugs? Shoplifters are known to do that.

  • ||

    Did they shackle the baby, too? Because it sounds like the baby was just as much of a flight risk.

  • Tim||

    I was just about to make that joke, you bastard. (shakes fist)

  • ||

    "Did they shackle the baby, too?"

    Beat me to it--again.

    "It all can have a dehumanizing effect. These aren't people first, they're criminals first."

    I think medical personnel deal with that on another level. They have to keep some emotional distance between themselves and the patients.

    Morgue humor inevitably finds its way in. It's like the ol' propaganda posters from WW II too, the Army wanted to dehumanize the enemy for sure, but there's a natural tendency for people to want to dehumanize people they have to treat badly.

    If you do a 9 to 5 as a guard in a place where people are caged like chickens all day, you can't expect guards not to start treating them like chickens.

    It's Stanford Prison Experiment / Abu Ghraib all over again. You don't have to actively do anything policy-wise to get those kinds of effects. You just have to neglect actively discouraging it.

  • ||

    I thought all it took was a conscience to not abuse people.

  • ||

    It's a rare thing, that kind of "conscience".

    It requires you to stand up against your own team.

    I suspect there's a bell curve. The kind of "conscience" you're talking about is probably about as common as psychopaths.

  • ||

    That's why we should all thank Dog for people like Balko.

  • ¢||

    Any chance she was faking the pregnancy just to get drugs?

    Or was she really pregnant, but the father was half-man, half-crack?

    Did you know that you can de-baby a quarter-crack baby (a "quadrock" on the streets) and make it smokeable by waving a tiny rose over it and rubbing it against a Sudafed?

    Every hospital has a pharmacy and a gift shop in it, so she may have been just seconds away from strong-arm robbing them both and getting ripped on the service stairs.

    Thin blue line, yo.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Wow. Just...wow.

  • ||

    I think I found this thread's hidden gem.

    *stand up, starts slowly clapping*

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Bravo

  • Hobie Hanson||

    This is what happens when you put racist Republicans in charge of a police force.

  • ||

    I blame the Tea Party.

  • Eric||

    Yeah, nothing ever goes wrong in majority-Democratic cities -- meaning all of them. Nope, I can't think of anything.

  • ||

    This is what happens when you put racist Republicans in charge of a police force.

    That's exactly who runs Cook County.

  • ||

    Maybe he's unfamiliar with what City encompasses the majority of Cook County.

    Or what party John Stroger was a local power player in.

  • ||

    Maybe somebody needs to take their sarcasmometer in for a tune-up.

  • ||

    Does that mean 1% is too high a number?

    If it is higher than any other major country in the world, and includes people incarcerated for non-violent voluntary acts that harm no innocent bystanders, then fuck yes, it's too high.

  • ||

    If you really can't fucking tell when a woman is in labor -- you know, when she is screaming in pain at regular intervals while her body tenses up -- you're too fucking stupid to be a cop.

    Or deliberately breaking the law by trying to misinterpret it.

  • WTF||

    when she is screaming in pain at regular intervals while her body tenses up

    For some, that's the height of the sex act.

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    Not a flight risk there either.

  • ||

    If you really can't fucking tell when a woman is in labor -- you know, when she is screaming in pain at regular intervals while her body tenses up -- you're too fucking stupid to be a cop.

    I don't believ it's possible to be too stupid to be a cop.

    However, at least one law enforcement agency has determined that you can be too smart to be a cop.

  • Warty||

    Sorry for the threadjack, but I made the mistake of going to Andrew Sullivan's blog and...actually found something awesome.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    God damn you. Do you really want to start that up again?

  • Warty||

    Until someone draws a comic about a mohel superhero, the argument is settled.

  • Whatever||

    Who would want to read a funny book about a Christ-killer?

  • WTF||

    God walks into a motel, walks up to the front desk, drops a handful of nails on the desk and says, "can you put my son up for the night?"

  • Whatever||

    The law is the law. She don't like it, she can give birth in her own damn country. Who gives a shit about some taco-twat and her thieving chalupa baby?

  • WTF||

    I missed the part where it said she was an illegal immigrant.

    I'm hoping this is a poor attempt at parody. Even if a woman were in the country illegally (which I didn't see in there), that hardly justifies near-torture of a pregnant woman giving birth.

  • Whatever||

    You a brown-skin or do you just fuck one?

  • $||

    'Whatever' prepared for his nightly ritual. The Ritual both thrilled and shamed him --- but it had to be done. He stripped naked and ensured that the telescope was pointed in the right direction. As he saw Rosita laying on her bed in the house across the street, he slipped his hand down and tucked his genitalia between his legs. He closed his eyes in pleasure and embarrassment, and wished that his Sapphic dreams would come true.

  • Whatever||

    Maybe you could educate yourself before being more of a dumbass.

    American Third Position Party

    Or you could just keep rubbing hot sauce on your butthole.

  • WTF||

    You seem to have an unhealthy obsession with other people's sexual preferences and buttholes.

  • Whatever||

    I just know how you open borders fags think. You want to make a pass at me like your pillow biting buddy Angry Optimist?

  • WTF||

    You really have a way of winning people over to your point of view, don't you. Must be the impressively lucid way in which you make your point.

  • WTF||

    Show us on the doll where the nasty brown-skinned person touched you, Whatever.

  • Whatever||

    They touched my country, tacofucker. You don't know how hard is is to make a living with crowd of José outside the Home Depot. Try making a living as a roofer when those ignorant fucks are willing to work for a nickel a day. But you're probably in your air-conditioned office pushing around paper. Never worked an honest day in your life, I bet.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    You are adorable! Do you do parties?

  • Whatever||

    I ain't going to one of your fag parties, you AIDS-dripping vermin.

  • WTF||

    Why yes, in fact, I am in my air-conditioned office. And there is a fair amount of paper on my desk, just ready for the pushin'.

    I have, however, worked many honest days in my life. Not this particular one, maybe, but yes, I've done it.

  • The Gobbler||

    I would like to subscibe to your nooseletter.

  • WTF||

    I ell-oh-elled.

  • Eric||

    "They touched my country, tacofucker."

    I swear on my mother's grave to use this line out-of-context in the future.

  • JohnE||

    "Try making a living as a roofer when those ignorant fucks are willing to work for a nickel a day."

    Dude, you are doing it wrong.

    Try doing it this way - get a bunch of business cards with your name, number, and "Roofing Contractor" printed on them.

    Find people who want their roofs done.

    Find the nickle a day guys outside Home Depot. Take them to the place where the guy wants a new roof and have them put the new roof on.

    Take dollars from the roof-owner. Give nickles to the guys who put on the roof.

    Profit.

  • ||

    8/10. It's just far enough over the top that you're going to get a few bites.

  • ||

    9/10. It's over the top, but still just within the range of what some actual people think and say, to get some responses.

  • WTF||

    Well within range, sadly.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Probably a quadrock.

  • ||

    tacofucker

    Where have you been all my life, Whatever?

    I'm a tacofucker, you're a tacofucker,
    Wouldn't you like to be a tacofucker too?
  • Cyto||

    Taco is a euphemism for vagina after all....

  • ||

    Wrong story, knucklehead. This particular woman is an American. Take you anti-immigrant stupidity to some other thread.

  • Almanian||

    Latiana Walton went through most of her labor at Stroger Hospital with an arm and leg chained to her bed, she remembers

    That'll learn her - "don't do the crime if you can't do the time."

    *checks vacation plans with Mrs. A to ensure we're not in Cook County anytime....ever*

  • Sandi||

    I took a shit in Cook County once.

  • Abdul||

    And it was elected sherrif.

  • Cook County Sheriff||

    Hidey hi!!

  • zoltan||

    Why the hell are those convicted of violent crimes put in the same prison/or same cellblock as those who commit non-violent crimes. The guy who committed theft (like, driving a vehicle that has stolen goods in it) should not be in the same cell as the guy who used a gun to hold up the convenience store.

  • Paul||

    sheriff's deputies kept a suspected illegal immigrant shackled to her bed while she gave birth. And of course in Maricopa County, of all places, there's ample evidence that Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies see immigrants as something less than human.

    Minor quibble: I'd bet they'd do the same thing to you or me (I mean, if I had a uteris). I think the Arpaio regime sees anyone as a potential criminal and continuous danger to the community no matter their condition.

  • ||

    I guess George Carlin's advice that 2 new standards for cops should be intelligence and decency was never tried.

  • ||

    protip: don't break the law

    idiots

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