Rapper Akilah Brock Claims Baseless NYPD Drug Stop Led to Eight-Day Psych Ward Confinement

Doctors didn't believe Brock was followed by Obama on Twitter or had a banking job. Both are true.



An encounter with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) last September left Long Island resident Kamilah Brock institutionalized against her will for more than a week, according to a lawsuit filed by Brock in federal court. The 32-year-old bank employee and musician—better known online by stage name Akilah Brock—alleges that she was wrongly diagnosed as delusional and bipolar and kept in Harlem Hospital's psych ward for 8 days after NYPD seized her car under suspicion that she had been smoking marijuana (no drugs were found). 

I spoke with Brock's attorney yesterday but haven't been able to view a copy of the suit yet. According to the New York Daily News, it includes medical records showing Brock was injected with sedatives and forced to take lorazepam and lithium at Harlem Hospital. Brocks's "master treatment plan" includes "inability to test reality" and unemployment among her shortcomings, with the following treatment objective: 

Patient will verbalize the importance of education for employment and will state that Obama is not following her on Twitter.

Doctors didn't believe Brock when she said she was employed by a bank (she is) or was followed on Twitter by President Obama (also true), the Daily News reports. After being released from the hospital, Brock received a bill for $13,637.10 for her time there.

Brock's bizarre horror story began when she was stopped by cops who suspected her of being high, according to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. No drugs were found, but NYPD officers seized Brock's car anyway. When Brock got "emotional" while retrieving her car from the NYPD service lot the next day, officers allegedly put her in handcuffs and then an ambulance. The NYPD and Harlem Hospital haven't been commenting on the case.

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  1. Brock received a bill for $13,637.10 for her treatment there.

    The ultimate in Because Fuck You, That’s Why

    1. This is a fee that’s nearly impossible to get away from, as well, regardless of how unjustified the incarceration was…

      1. Oh she’ll get away from it fine when her lawsuits against the hospital and the city are settled for large amounts.

  2. I wonder if she votes for the “more government” party. Because that’s what she got.

    1. maybe we could lay off the victim blaming for a few days?

      1. We’re all victims of the more government crowd.

    2. Wow, Elizabeth Nolan Brown, if I ever want to get support for a personal-injury lawsuit, I’m coming straight to you for sympathetic publicity. Because you seem to believe whatever a plaintiff’s attorney says, and in this case assume that something that was likely completely unrelated to the reasons for hospitalization was the only reason this person was placed into the hospital.

      I don’t work in New York City, so I don’t know the exact intricacies of their mental health laws, but they have some basic consistencies across the country. Your biggest mistake was trying to contact the hospital for their side — obviously, given their situation being in an active lawsuit, they can’t comment.

      But why didn’t you call someone at Bellevue and ask what it takes for involuntary psychiatric hospitalizations and forcible medications in New York? They would still be laughing if you told them that someone was hospitalized and injected against her will simply for believing she had a job or thought someone famous was following her on Twitter.

      It just doesn’t work that way! People need to be imminently dangerous to themselves or others to get coercive treatment, and mere beliefs, whether they are delusional or the truth, would NEVER alone be the reasons for it.

      1. That last paragraphs is a pretty good troll, if a bit mellow. But all the spew before it, well, weird I guess. You need to get your act together.

        1. Weird? I have no idea what you are talking about. I happen to have a great deal of experience on this topic. Which part confuses you?

          A few years ago, a patient actually sued our hospital claiming the doctor and nurses held her down and made her suck the doctor’s dick. It took months of legal proceedings to get the case dropped despite many witnesses to the contrary, including other patients. The attorney kept holding on hoping for a settlement to make him go away. The hospital wisely took it all the way, or else they would have set a precedent for frivolous lawsuits in the future.

          I’m guessing with your confirmation bias, you would have believed in this patient’s case as well?

          1. Talk about confirmation bias! I was commenting on the general rambling dissembling nature of your comment, then how the last paragraph settled down to a more-or-less standard troll. Guess you wanted to read something different into it.

            1. I still fail to see what was rambling or dissembling about it, or how any part of it was trolling. Please, grammar police, point out the error of my ways.

      2. I’d also be very shocked that someone in such a case would be given lithium involuntarily after such a brief period of examination. Lithium’s not candy, it’s meant to be taken chronically, and is useless in calming an agitated patient down acutely. It’s been over 35 yrs. since I’ve taken psychiatry, but that much I know. I’m sure there’s both more & less to this story than what we’re getting.

      3. I think the forced colonoscopy story from a few years ago tells us that some medical professionals will totally disregard ethics at the behest of law enforcement. The story may very well not be true, but it is believable.

    3. If only there was one identifying factor that could accurately predict what political party someone would most likely vote for…

      Income- NOPE.
      Gender- NOPE.
      Education- NOPE.

      I feel like there’s something I’m missing…

    4. Is there only one “more government” party?

  3. I’d get emotional if the cops refused to return my unjustly seized property, too. And even more emotional when they insisted on a “custodial fee” before getting it returned…

    1. And I’m sure they did significant damage to it during their search too.

  4. Estimates on the settlement?

    1. I don’t want to use too lawyerly a description, but I would have to say somewhere between a “shitload of money” and a “fuckton of cash”.

      1. *nods aggressively at Switzy’s precise reference to the aes rude monetary system*

      2. shouldn’t it be a “metric fuckton of cash”? Or are you still on the imperial measurement system even with your Swill background?

        1. I estimate the settlement will be *zero* and if this even gets to trial, they will find for the hospital. There is clearly a huge amount of information here that is not being disclosed. My guess as an outsider knowing only what’s been reported here, is she was having a case of acute mania which can make people highly agitated and violent, as well as delusional and disorganized, or grandiose.

          Her statement about Obama following her could have been greatly exaggerated by grandiosity — I can’t say here but I’ve seen enough cases of mania to hazard a guess. Possibly she was being brought in the hospital and said “Obama follows me on Twitter! As soon as he hears about this he’s going to be down here with the US Army and they’re going to blow this place up unless you let me go!” So — the Twitter part of the statement is true, but the rest is grandiose. Just because one part of a statement is true doesn’t mean everything is — but if you’re cherry-picking phrases for your argument, it makes it sound like they wouldn’t believe the patient and that’s why she was hospitalized.

          The nurses’ “master treatmant plan” (why the scare quotes?) is required by regulation, and has to have a number of treatment issues and goals written out it in the manner of the article. Usually it is “so and so problem” with a goal of “patient will (do things differently).” There are usually several such issues listed. Again, one part of the treatment plan does not identify the reason for involuntary care.

          1. That scenario I could believe. Maybe they contacted her doctor, found out she was already on lithium, and gave her her usual dose.

    2. The settlement will be for an “undisclosed amount”.

      The real question is whether this will lead to any changes. Yeah, not much of a question, I know.

      1. They’ll of course try to subtract the hospital fees (plus interest) from any settlement… Because “reasonable medical necessity” or some shit.

      2. Charge taxpayers for big government? Check.
        Charge taxpayers for large settlement when big government screws up? Check.
        Charge taxpayers for job protection for employees responsible for screw up? Check.

      3. I’m sure “no admission of guilt” will be included with the “undisclosed amount”.

    3. Hm. Well we’ve got false imprisonment… assault… theft… lost wages… medical bills… etc.

      I’m guessing the responsible parties will pay exactly zero. Someone else will probably be forced to pay $250k, at least.

  5. Bend over, NYC taxpayers….this one is gong to hurt.

    The Soviet style cops and shrinks….”and nothing else will happen”.

    1. NYC taxpayers won’t notice a thing. Hugely more money is wasted every day on even stupider crap.

  6. Doctors didn’t believe Brock when she said she was employed by a bank (she is) or was followed on Twitter by President Obama (also true), the Daily News reports

    On Being Sane in Insane Places (the Rosenhan Study)


    1. Thanks, I haven’t read that since college.

  7. You gave what purported to a link to the suit, but it was to PACER, which has restricted access, and threatens prosecution for unauthorized access by the hoi polloi.

  8. “Doctors didn’t believe Brock when she said she was employed by a bank (she is) or was followed on Twitter by President Obama (also true)”

    And they were unable to verify these things because…

    1. Laziness? Blatant disregard for her person?

    2. because she was confined by the police and corrupt psychiatric hospital. of course EVERYTHING she says is a lie. if she wasnt guilty / crazy the police wouldnt have stolen her car and ruined her life.

      1. Perhaps one of the policemen didn’t like the bathing suit she wore in her “Icy Hot” video and convinced some of his buddies at the hospital to try their own version of “Girl Interrupted.”

    3. “We was pardoned by the govnor himself, it went out on the radio twitter!”

      “We ain’t got no radio twitter out here.”

  9. “The NYPD and Harlem Hospital haven’t been commenting on the case.”

    And the proverbial “pending lawsuit” will ensure they clam up but good, now.

    1. “Oh, I see…there’s this magical ‘cyberspace’ all around us, and there’s a ‘Twitter’ in cyberspace where President Obama is following you! [rotates finger around temple] cuckoo! cuckoo! Get the straitjacket!”

      1. I meant to comment on the subthread I started above.

  10. few things are as terrifying as the collusion between law enforcement and medical “professionals”.

    1. And with a $13K bill?? No conflict of interest there!

    2. Which is why the attempt to derail drug legalization into making it a “public health” issue is so dangerous.

      1. Exactly! I don’t believe that changing from drug use from criminal to health a issue will change much at all.

        If anything being locked up in a health facility for drug use will be a sentence with no clear end point as one will be at the health care professionals’ subjective mercy.

        1. If they are still locking you up against your will, then they are still treating it as a criminal issue, whatever they call it.

          Drug use is a health issue in many cases. That is just a fact, albeit one that should have nothing to do with how drug use is treated by law.

  11. Maybe we’re returning to the days when they regularly committed women for being hysterical.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened in the “bad old days” when the Cult of the Expert was getting started and the white-coats could describe any socially-vulnerable person as crazy and get him/her committed.

      Good thing we’re more enlightened nowadays and won’t simply defer to some cargo-cult “expert” just because they avoided the real world long enough to get a BS* degree for writing jargon-filled papers.

      *No, not Bachelor of Science, the other BS.

      1. Cargo-cult, haven’t heard that since college Anthropology class 😉

        1. It’s Richard Feynman’s phrase – “cargo cult science”

    2. I thought there was a totally different treatment for hysteria in women?


      p.s. The 50 char limit on url’s totally sucks.

      1. That is so weird. I suppose you have to figure that a lot of couples managed to figure out that women also have orgasms and sex drives. You would think that it would be something that people would know even if it wasn’t discussed in polite company.

        I suppose that in the days before regular bathing was common, going down on a woman seemed like a less good option to most men even if they figured out that it worked well to make your woman happy.

        1. But science nerds never get/got laid, so how would they know

      2. And if you look at other images… she’s hot. Definitely would get rejected by her were I single.

      3. The 50 char limit on url’s totally sucks.

        Try leaving off “http://” It still turns into a valid link (mostly) and the 50 character warning seems to go away.

  12. ” it includes medical records showing Brock was injected with sedatives and forced to take lorazepam and lithium”

    I’d sue the hospital into bankruptcy for forcibly injecting me with these things. I’m not sure how many of you know close ones who have legitimate need for these medications but, unless you’re a paranoid schizophrenic suffering from regular hallucinations, they’re in the ‘cure is worse than the disease’ category.

    1. I hope I never see the inside of a mental hospital. Eight days there and I really would go crazy. I’d never get out.

    2. No one should be forcefully injected with anything. But lorazepam (Ativan), in my experience, is a whole lot less worse than pretty much any disease. It’s pretty mild and short acting compared to a lot of similar drugs. Lots of people take it occasionally for insomnia or mild anxiety attacks.

    3. Lithium in large amounts can shut down your kidneys. Long-term users display kidney issues later in life.

      1. And lithium only comes in oral forms, so the whole idea she was ‘injected’ with lithium shows another shortcoming in this case. There is no injectable lithium.

        Zeb is correct about lorazepam (ativan) being a mild sedative, and actually is considered to be pleasant by most people. It’s like a quick-onset, short-term Valium. It’s a schedule drug like opiates because of its high potential for abuse (which I of course disagree with). Patients ask for it by name all the time, just like they ask for Vicodin. Reports are it goes for $5-$10 a pill on the streets.

        1. The story does not say she was injected with lithium. It says she was injected with sedatives. Then she was forced to take lithium (second paragraph, lines three and four).

          I am sure you have your reasons for doubting this story. I do not. My ex husband would regularly threaten to have me committed (for disagreeing with him). All it would have taken for a mandatory 72 hour hold is for my ex (a police officer) to say I was a “danger to myself and others.” He would threaten to do this any time I would do something he didn’t like, such as insist on going to my job, or insisting on buying groceries instead of beer.

  13. well, it could have been worse.

    they could have sent her to the gila medical center…

  14. For such intelligent people as I know you all are, your jumping to conclusions based solely on a plaintiff’s attorney’s side of the story is stunning. No one is hospitalized just because they may have minor delusions, and they are not forcibly medicated for that either.

    Do you suppose the unfortunate woman might have really been acutely ill, and you are just hearing a couple of cherry-picked parts of the story to make it sound horrible?

    1. It’s possible. But unless she was seriously endangering other people, it is still wrong to confine her against her will, force medication on her and then send her the bill. And things like this have happened in the past to non-crazy people. Once they decide you are not right, everything you do can be read as further evidence that you are nuts. Sort of like when an innocent person in prison has a parole hearing.

    2. As we all know, government officials never abuse their power:

      Since former New York police officer Adrian SchoolcMost of the news you will read about the lawsuit filed by New York police officer Adrian Schoolcraft is about how his superiors in Brooklyn’s 81st Precinct had him involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility because he was going to blow the whistle on them for unlawful ticket quotas and manipulated crime statistics.

  15. “…after NYPD seized her car under suspicion that she had been smoking marijuana (no drugs were found)”

    Ah, so the real culprit here is the War on Drugs? Figures.

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