Working Relationships

Working Relationships

We used MANPOWER or the badge and uniform…we called a code, and all hands (many little hands of nurses and a doctor) were on deck as we gently put  patients in restraints.    Intravenous access (IV),  labs and administration of medication For an acutely agitated, belligerent confused patients  as well as Trauma work-up for patients without  prior history of confusion including EKG (Cardiac and Infectious problems often present with confusion), head and neck imaging and urinary catheter.  For all others,  vigilance was key in monitoring  patients in the EDs I worked. Always, attempting to Calm patients even if I sometimes fed into their fantasies of the stars just to talk them down calmly if need be.


Never provoke agitated patients…because it is well-known it only agitates patients more causing higher blood pressures and  tachycardia. But isn’t that common sense basic training?


Manpower did not seem to be an issue in any of the videos of police violence. Mike Brown had his hands in the air…. The uniform calms all but the acutely psychotic patient.


At nights when staff was minimal, if a patient became violent –spitting and wielding wildly at staff or I sometimes with sharp objects– we backed-off, usually I talked to the patient until the police arrived. One officer and he never drew his gun in my over 20 years experience working in EDs.


Do not accept the  aggressive and threatening behaviors and attitudes of cops as first responders. As first responders there are protocols that should be adhered in cases of patients with altered mental status. Why did cops fire  their weapons when there was no emergent or imminent threat ? And why does the medical system condone use of unnecessary force with lethal outcomes when non-lethal means are routinely used in EDs?  


 Concern for ED staff and patients when the wrong cop is called to help with a belligerent patient, will he or she immediately fire a weapon multiple times in a busy ED?   What if the ED staff is discriminatory  (like the crew I met at Tufts) will the officer fire his weapon indiscriminately at any  black person?    We do not know !  Let us not wait for this eventuality.


1.  Virtually all  victims’ videos were unarmed, alleged to have a knife, (usually a pocketknife or scissors) and  alleged to resist arrest  and shot  at least 6 times by veteran cops with unknown names and no accountability or arrests.

2.  Murder taken so lightly by society,  emboldens more murders as we see today where it is daily.    A blatant derision of the constitution and  reflection of privileged status above the law.

3.  Less paper-work with a dead victim as well as  fringe benefit of  paid time-off if disputed.


4.  The default discriminatory :  Weapons in cases of black and brown folks and treatment in cases of white men and often white women.  An unarmed black person is killed every 28 hours  by  police in one report read recently about the New Jim Crow.


I would venture to guess 90% of “normal” white males have never experienced discrimination. Discrimination throughout all dimensions, vertical and horizontals, what do you think?

The above images have a common theme of manpower?  Why do deaths invariably occur  before manpower arrives ?  Is this a delay in the EMS system?   Or is backup not called under after a police killing?

VIDEO: Family Releases Video of Man Being Killed by Fort Bend Officer (graphic)


Excellent  Related  Articles:


1.  Where I’m coming from and how I got PTSD in the first place. How it almost ruined my life.

Where I’m coming from and how I got PTSD in the first place. How it almost ruined my life.

2.  How should police handle people with autism?

3.  Aspergers Teens and Driving a Car


4. Police Treatment of Mental Illness


5.  Police Brutality: An Unstoppable Epidemic


7.  United States Citizens Justice Database | Updated Sept 1


8.  Reflections: Military Police Delivery of Healthcare |Videos


Author: Angela Grant

Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

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