Brickbats

Brickbat: Labor Pains

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Saying she was treated with "deliberate indifference," a federal judge denied a motion by the Alameda County, California, sheriff's office to dismiss a civil rights lawsuit brought by Candace Steel. Steel gave birth in a jail cell in 2017. Steel says she screamed in pain and called for help for hours but was ignored by deputies. They responded only when they heard the cries of her newborn daughter. Steel had been charged with misdemeanor trespassing. That charge was later dismissed.

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  2. Man, those uneducated clinger-cops in the sticks are some heartless bastards. Hopefully Candace will eventually be able to move out of that third-world hell hole.

    1. re: “clinger-cops in the sticks”

      I can’t tell whether that was supposed to be sarcastic or not. For those who don’t know, Alameda County is part of the San Francisco Bay area. It has a population density of 1800 per square mile. (For comparison, that’s higher than the Chicago Metropolitan area but lower than downtown Chicago.) Alameda County elects their sheriffs. While I have not been able to confirm the party affiliation of the current Sheriff, every other office holder in the county is (according to Wikipedia) a Democrat.

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  4. For ignoring the screams of a highly dangerous “trespasser” in labor, those cops should be sentenced to hard labor.

    But their only “sentence” will be relaxing with some beers during their extra weeks of paid vacation, amirite? Meanwhile any damages paid out by the courts will come from California taxpayers who were blameless in this. Not so much as a single dime will come out of the goddamn bank accounts of these deputies.

    Those police unions are nothing if not supremely effective.

    1. Those police unions are nothing if not supremely effective evil.

      ftfy

  5. She should be charged with smuggling a child into a jail.

    1. Get DHS and ICE involved. She human trafficked.

  6. Has there been a court case specifically identifying ‘ignoring screams of labor’ as a criminal act by an officer of the law? Are all officers trained in distinguishing those screams from other screams, like a drugged out withdrawal ‘let me out’ kind of scream?
    I suspect they have qualified immunity.

    1. Has there been a court case specifically identifying ‘ignoring screams of labor’ as a criminal act by an officer of the law?

      Would that even matter? From what I’ve seen the only standard an officer is held to is department policy. The law doesn’t apply to those tasked with enforcing it.

    2. The main thing is that the 8th Amendment requires government give non-excessive bail to every defendant.

      Misdemeanor trespass should have been a 30 minute turn around for booking and release to appear in court on certain date.

    3. Are all officers trained in distinguishing those screams from other screams, like a drugged out withdrawal ‘let me out’ kind of scream?

      #believeallwomen

    4. Are all officers trained in distinguishing those screams from other screams, like a drugged out withdrawal ‘let me out’ kind of scream?

      Reading the article more thoroughly, why not both?:

      In her lawsuit, Steel says she first was taken to Valley Care Hospital before being booked into Santa Rita to be medically cleared. She told doctors she had not received any prenatal care for her pregnancy and had experienced seizures in a prior pregnancy. She also told them she smoked tobacco daily, smoked marijuana within the last day, drank alcohol during her pregnancy and smoked methamphetamine in the fifth month of her pregnancy.

      There’s a bit of irony in being locked in a small room and subject to the depraved indifference of police officers while, for 9 mos., your baby has been locked inside your womb, subject to your own depraved indifference. I’d be surprised to learn that she’s the first woman in the Alameda County Jail to use her pregnancy/baby as a ploy to skirt or motivate the law.

  7. ”Saying she was treated with “deliberate indifference,” a federal judge denied a motion by the Alameda County, California, sheriff’s office to dismiss a civil rights lawsuit brought by Candace Steel.”

    To be clear, you mean that Candace Steel, not the federal judge, was treated with deliberate indifference. Bad sentence structure.

    1. The first ‘she’ needs to be changed to ‘Steel’. Structure is fine as the judge (presumably) was the one saying it, just too many pronouns.

  8. Good warm and fuzzy progressive California! It cares so much!

  9. From a medical perspective, it’s a very bad situation if you get sick while incarcerated. Jail is punishment oriented, and no one who works there has any incentive to address what might be wrong with you. The fact that you are suffering is just fine and you will be ignored, if not further punished for being disruptive.

    At least that is what I have seen.

    1. I’ve heard of somebody who was born in the wagon of a traveling show. What her mother did will shock you!

      1. Did she make a bunch of money working from home only a few hours a day?

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  11. Ehhh. I’m not convinced that the police were really that culpable in this situation.

    Jail wardens are routinely subjected to screams from every drunk, drug-addled, withdrawl-crazed, fuming furious, and simply mad person that society can throw at them. A woman screaming in apparent pain isn’t out of the norm. If they thought she was just coming down from a meth high, then there’s little a doctor could do, and nothing that they would do given the circumstances.

    1. She gave birth. Unless you think a miracle was involved, I’m pretty sure that means she went into the jail not merely pregnant but very obviously pregnant. In every other walk of life, that would earn her some special consideration, if not for her own sake then at least for the sake of the baby. And it darned well creates a presumption that cries of pain might have a valid cause other than withdrawal – one that at least justifies calling a doctor.

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