Albany Sheriff Dept. helps Hemorrhoid Sufferer.

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Albany Sheriff Dept. helps Hemorrhoid Sufferer.

Post by ScottL on July 25th 2009, 4:06 pm

What happened to my America?

http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=821158&category=&BCCode=&newsdate=7/19/2009&TextPage=1

Man sedated during search gets $125,000
Out-of-court settlement reached with ex-convict, Albany County, hospital

By BRENDAN J. LYONS, Senior writer
First published in print: Saturday, July 18, 2009

ALBANY -- A man who was forcibly sedated so his body could be searched for drugs that were never found will receive $125,000 under an out-of-court settlement reached recently with Albany County and Albany Medical Center Hospital.


The settlement stems from a federal lawsuit filed two years ago by Tunde Clement, an ex-convict arrested by sheriff's investigators on March 13, 2006, at the Albany bus terminal.

Clement was carrying a backpack when he stepped off a bus from New York City and was quickly confronted by investigators who suspected he may be carrying drugs.

Clement, 35, who police claim had an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court in a neighboring city, was handcuffed and taken to a police station where he was strip-searched. No contraband was found, so Clement was taken to Albany Med, where doctors forcibly sedated him with powerful drugs against his will.

Sheriff's investigators did not obtain a search warrant for the procedure, and hospital officials did not require them to produce one. Police and hospital officials considered the matter a "medical emergency."

While Clement was under sedation, a camera was inserted in his rectum, he was forced to vomit and his blood and urine were tested for drugs and alcohol. Scans of his digestive system were performed using X-ray machines, according to hospital records obtained by the Times Union.

Clement spent more than 10 hours in custody before being released on an appearance ticket for resisting arrest -- a charge that was later thrown out by an Albany City Court judge.

"I think the settlement speaks for itself," said John F. Queenan, Clement's attorney in the federal lawsuit.

Clement's suit claimed his civil rights were violated. He filed the federal complaint against Albany Med and several doctors and nurses, and also sued Albany County and Sheriff James Campbell, Inspector John Burke, who heads the narcotics squad that arrested Clement, and eight investigators assigned to Burke's unit.

He claimed he was a victim of assault and battery when officials strapped him down and injected him with drugs against his will and with no medical need or emergency.

After being led from the bus station in handcuffs, Clement was taken to a holding cell in the county Judicial Center. He was forced to strip naked, squat and cough as investigators wrongly concluded he was hiding drugs inside his body.

He was then taken to the emergency room. Medical records indicate a doctor called the hospital's risk management director to assess the liability exposure of what they were about to do.

People under arrest normally cannot be forcibly sedated without a court order unless they are in imminent danger, such as when a bag of drugs bursts inside them and they have a seizure or fall unconscious. The hospital's records indicate Clement was behaving normally and showed no signs of any medical emergency.

"Spoke to Shirley of Risk Management," a physician wrote, documenting the medical decision-making that day. "OK to treat, sedate & remove FOB (foreign object body) against (patient's) will despite his personal refusal."

The following month Clement received a $6,792 bill from Albany Med for the procedures. Hospital records indicate the final diagnosis as "hemorrhoids."

"Every step of the way there was a factual basis for everything that was done by the law enforcement personnel in the case from the initial stop, and learning there was an arrest warrant, and then being advised there was a medical emergency," said Thomas J. O'Connor, an attorney for Investigator Douglas Vogel, who is assigned to the narcotics unit. "They were afraid for his life."

Lawyers for the hospital and Albany County could not be reached. The county's share is $65,000.

The sheriff's department's stop-and-frisk tactics at the downtown bus station have drawn harsh criticism from defense attorneys and civil rights advocates. Eight years ago, the state's highest court issued a searing rebuke of their methods while overturning the conviction of a passenger who'd been arrested carrying three ounces of cocaine.

The Court of Appeals said it was improper for the investigators to board buses from New York City and flash their badges, waiting for passengers to react. Now, sheriff's investigators said they no longer single out buses from New York City and simply approach passengers who appear to be acting suspiciously.

Clement was paroled from state prison last month after serving less than two years on a drug charge related to an arrest in Albany.

Brendan J. Lyons can be reached at 454-5547 or by e-mail at blyons@timesunion.com.
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Re: Albany Sheriff Dept. helps Hemorrhoid Sufferer.

Post by Doc on July 25th 2009, 4:22 pm

Storm trooper tactics, for sure! You'd think they'd take the hint, when judges are finding against them, wouldn't you? Rolling Eyes
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Re: Albany Sheriff Dept. helps Hemorrhoid Sufferer.

Post by ScottL on July 25th 2009, 7:10 pm

If the cops think this is Ok, if the Doctors in the ER thinks this is OK, if the Nurses in the ER think this is Ok, and no one looks for a warrent or a law to see if this is OK, the America I have a faint recollection of is no longer here.

Who do we ask for affirmation of the Constitutions of the United States of America? Who has ever thought that this is legal -- to stick something up someone's butt without their consent? Isn't that Rape? And American Law Officers thought this was OK? And citizens of the US, like Doctors and Nurses, who have been trained in consent forms and seeking permission from the patient or family, thought this was OK?

How did we get here?
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Re: Albany Sheriff Dept. helps Hemorrhoid Sufferer.

Post by Doc on July 25th 2009, 7:41 pm

Fair question, Scott.

I suspect the judge will have similar questions, and hopefully some serious ass-chewing to do. These clowns need to get slapped down, HARD!
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Re: Albany Sheriff Dept. helps Hemorrhoid Sufferer.

Post by Shadow on July 26th 2009, 1:02 pm

Doc wrote:Fair question, Scott.

I suspect the judge will have similar questions, and hopefully some serious ass-chewing to do. These clowns need to get slapped down, HARD!

Don't hold your breath on that one, Doc. This is NYS. rolleyes I am even ashamed to admit I live in NY. anymore. I am surprised I never seen this on my local news because, Albany is right in my own backyard. Of course the news media is only focusing on our lame governor and his low rating etc. Not to mention our useless law makers in the state capitol. rolleyes Enough of my rant. biggrin
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Re: Albany Sheriff Dept. helps Hemorrhoid Sufferer.

Post by Doc on July 26th 2009, 1:27 pm

Look at the bright side, Shadow....


you could be living in Jersey! Laughing
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Re: Albany Sheriff Dept. helps Hemorrhoid Sufferer.

Post by Shadow on July 26th 2009, 1:40 pm

Doc wrote:Look at the bright side, Shadow....


you could be living in Jersey! Laughing

Your right about that, Doc. That will be in the news for sometime as well. I wouldn't wanna be any of them poor fools.
It reminds of a movie I saw not all to long ago called American Gangster. Well, sorta of.
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Re: Albany Sheriff Dept. helps Hemorrhoid Sufferer.

Post by irishgodfather1 on July 27th 2009, 4:24 pm

Doc wrote:Look at the bright side, Shadow....


you could be living in Jersey! Laughing
Or Georgia.
The people here ain't dumber then rocks.
They are rocks.
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