Sunday, August 24, 2014

Don't shoot, I am only trying to help!

Slowing down I turned the band. A car was standing on the shoulder of the road, a young woman lying on the ground next to it, another, standing above her, was waving frantically. I slammed on the break. Leaving my nine years old daughter in the car, my wife and I ran to see if we could help.

The woman on the ground was having a seizure. I turned her to her side, sent my wife to bring a blanket from the car, and send her mother, the waving woman, to park her car out of harm’s way. Nobody else stopped. The mother called 911.

I cleared the girl’s airway; my wife taking down notes on the time and pattern of the seizure (a necessary information for an investigating doctor). A police car arrived and stopped a few yards away.

“Who are you?” the policeman asked.

“I saw the woman on the ground, and stopped to see if I can help. That’s my car over there” I said, pointing to my car 20 yards away.

“Who is that woman?” the policeman asked, pointing at my wife.

“She is my wife.”

“Get the fuck out of here,” the policeman ordered.

“I am a train paramedic, and she is a registered nurse. The woman is suffering a seizure. We should wait until the ambulance arrives.”

“Are you arguing with me? I told you to fuck off,” the policeman raised his voice.

“OK, we are leaving. Here are my notes for the doctor,” my wife said, trying to hand the policeman her notes.

The woman on the grounds was having another fit, the mother was trying to give her water – which can be fatal in this situation – and the policeman’s hand was moving towards his holster.

Having just seen the recent videos of police shooting unarmed people, I raised my hands and stepped backward. “Don’s shoot,” I said. We are leaving.

The mother was begging for help. But it was not the job of the policeman. He only made sure we entered our car and did not return.

“Why was he shouting at you?” my daughter asked when we entered the car.

“Because we were trying to help,” I said.

“But what’s wrong with trying to help,” she would not let go.

Somehow, without thinking, regretting my words as they came out of my mouth, I said, “In America, trying to help, disturbs law and order.” What else could I say?

My daughter looked back at the policeman, who was still standing away from the girl on the ground, not bothering to look at her. “So why don’t we go somewhere else?” my daughter asked.

"Just stay away from the police, and all will be fine," I lied.

“Let’s have lunch,” my wife intervened.

We drove away.


Rum-Punch Drunk said...

This is unbelievable. You should have reported him and rang 911 again to let them know that both you and your wife are medically trained and was trying to help that woman but the police forced you to move away and then contacted the local newspapers. I hope that woman got the help she needed in the end.

The more complaints about bad police behavior right now, the better. They shouldn't be allowed to just keep pulling out guns or threatening to do so, whenever they feel like it. It's bullying tactics.

Helena Fortissima said...

Agree with the officer to the police department. Sorry to hear about this! You did what any reasonable person would do in this situation, stopping to render aid. The police are way out of control here.

PBScott said...

I remember growing up being told to be wary of the Police when we crossed the border into the US. People used to say things under their breath when they saw people being arrested on TV in Canada that in the US they would have just shot that person.

I spent a lot of time in the US growing up and worked in California for a while in my twenties.... never in my life did I ever want to move there though.... if you can go somewhere else, why not do it?

Yun Yi said...

An unbelievable and disturbing real story!

ranfuchs said...

@RPD and @Helena, I know that I should report on the incident, try to make the country better, try to fight for justice, but I will not.

I am simply glad I was not arrested. Arrest, justified or not, goes on one's record and hard to clear, hard to deal with when you need to renew your visit.

So I am just happy that I got out of there free. I hope that the young woman recovered. And I wonder what I will if I ever find myself in a similar situation. Will I try and help? I don't know.

nickey said...

Wow and I thought we were going through a rough time. I admire you for trying to help in the first place. Keep writing and talking about it, I have learned through experience that somebody eventually takes notice. The fear is always just that innocent people are hurt before you are heard. Love your blog

Pocket Protector And Heels said...

That's truly awful! All cops here aren't quite that bad (although they haven't been making a great name for themselves recently), I hope the rest of your time here is better!

Theresa H Hall said...

What a very peculiar thing for the police officer to do. I am stunned! Sorry you had interactions with a decidedly inhumane person. It's sad that many people should never be granted the job of police officer. They give all of the good people serving our communities a very bad rap.

I hope the woman and her daughter were helped. It seems to me that this person who acted so out of character should be reported.

Although I am proud of you and your wife for stopping ... doing the right thing. thank you from me to you. Tell your young daughter there are more good people in the world than there are bad.

umashankar said...

Denuded to the core, humans are the same everywhere. How different is that from an ISIS beheading?