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Police Mistake Medical Condition for Drunk Driving; Police Abuse Tragedy Results

Farmington Hills, MI personal injury attorney, Arnold Reed, is a friend of mine and a fine lawyer. Recently, he filed a $20,000,000 lawsuit on behalf of the family of a man who, allegedly, was abused by Allen Park and Dearborn (suburban Detroit, MI cities) police.

But, this is not your average police misconduct/abuse case. I am writing about it, as a public service, to alert law enforcement officials and the public. The victim in this case was an insulin dependent diabetic who wore an insulin pump on his waistband (police,apparently, mistook this for a weapon) and who suffered from hypoglycemic episodes. He was, apparently, followed by the police for several miles and was pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. Police allege that he resisted them and they subdued him by wrestling him to the ground and spraying him with pepper spray and tear gas.

After he was subdued, officers noticed that what they thought was a weapon was, in fact, an insulin pump; they administered a breath test which showed no alcohol consumption. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital where his blood sugar level was found to be 20 (normal, according to the article, is between 70 an 110). Subsequently, after receiving treatment at several hospitals, he died, presumably from injuries relating to this incident.

This case is the aftermath of a tragic lack of awareness of a relatively common condition. Police officers need to exercise better judgment; they must ask questions of the people they apprehend before jumping to the conclusion that they are criminals, uncooperative subjects, or arrest resistors. Members of the public need to immediately advise an officer who pulls them over of any conditions that they might have that would cause them to behave in a way that makes them look or seem suspicious. Basic education, on both sides of an event like this, could have prevented this tragedy. If you are reading this and know a police officer, or a person whose condition could be misinterpreted by a police officer, share this blog and the attached article with them. Perhaps you and I, together, can prevent another tragedy like this one.

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