Sunday, January 22, 2012

Police Use "Excessive Force" on "frail" deaf man

An investigation found a Canadian police officer used excessive force on a sick, deaf man in a small Alberta town. Bill Berry was trying to pay a ticket at the courthouse in the town Red Deer, about 100 miles north of Calgary. Officer Thomas Bounds approached Berry, telling Berry he had entered through an exit door and would have to go back out and come in again, through the proper screening entrance. Bounds ignored Berry's attempts to communicate that he is deaf and didn't understand the order - and couldn't speak because Berry had his larynx removed because of cancer. The policeman piked up Berry and put him outside, where he collapsed. Bounds had knocked out a tube in Berry's neck through which Berry breaths. A policeman eventually figured out what was wrong and re-inserted the tube. Bounds later said Berry had waved his arms, which he took as an aggressive move and that he thought Berry might attack other people in the room. However, a video of the confrontation showed otherwise, and the investigation by the Solicitor General Office's Law Enforcement and Oversight Branch in Alberta found the appearance of the 118 pound grandfather "is frail and consistent with a person who has endured a serious medical condition and any form of physical force used against him should be measured. Sheriff Bounds use and level of force against Mr. Berry was unjustified, excessive, led directly to Mr. Berry's stoma tube being dislodged, and the resulting serious medical emergency." Berry is considering a lawsuit. It is not known yet what action the sheriff's office may take again Bounds.