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N.M. Police Under Fire for Diabetic Arrest

Santa Fe County (N.M.) Sheriff Robert Garcia has launched an internal investigation into the arrest of a woman at a traffic stop who was having a diabetic attack. Read the full story here.

July 23, 2013

Comments (12)

Displaying 1 - 12 of 12

pup @ 7/23/2013 1:29 PM

I'm not a doctor, so what is the difference between a diabetic attack and a DUI driver? Can a victim speak and advise they are having an attack? If so, why didn't she tell the officers? Why didn't she unlcok the door or roll down the window?

james healy @ 7/23/2013 3:11 PM

OK, so you are not sure what her issue is, but you don't leave someone on the hot pavement, you get them up ASAP, there was also no need to pull her up by her arms like that, we are not taught to do it that way and was the arm bar walk to the car necessary? My 29 years, say no. This is a training issue that needs to be addressed, not necessarily cost someone their job.

krisnlc @ 7/23/2013 3:54 PM

Hmm looking at the video i do not believe the police did anything malicious. One minute in the New Mexico Hot sun could feel like an eternity, but it really is not that long to figure out what is going on. As far as picking her up by the arms...well i dont think that was done overly rough by the officers...nor do I think the press did any justice by saying "ripping her out of the car", the officers did not act malicious there either. Is it a training issue, probably, but not a serious one. I am also a little put off that the sheriff would so quickly admonish his officer publicly like that. By the way pup, people having diabetic attacks sometimes and often cannot speak coherently, let alone talk and speak or act. the officers do not know...they are trying to figure it out. but look at the video closely...the officer broke out the glass on the passenger side, not the driver...that is also indication that the officer did not want to hurt the driver. They did not 'rip' her out as the press said, they pulled her out in control realizing they did not know exactly everything happening....After all they thought she may be about diabetes, they share the same incoherent behaviors... Sheriff, your officers did a good job, can it be better yes...but they were not malicious or out-of-control...YOu should be more supportive of them.
I dont think it is what the press said it was and now the officers will have to deal with it by every overly liberal person that exists.
Santa Fe, home of the 22 million dollar settlement to an inmate in Dona Ana County..what do you think this will bring?

Capt. Crunch @ 7/23/2013 9:15 PM

Even if she was drunk, why lay her out on the hot pavement, just handcuff her and put her in the patrol car. I don't want these officers in my town.

Sturlaugson @ 7/23/2013 9:56 PM

At some point there needs to be some discussion about the fact that diabetics, and any other individuals with a medical condition that could cause them to lose the ability to function normally, are ultimately responsible for controlling their condition and the side effects it might cause. Not taking the proper medication and driving knowing that there's a chance that you might lose the ability to control the vehicle and cause an accident, is no different than consuming alcohol and doing the same thing. If this woman had hit and killed someone, in my book it's neglegent homicide, and there needs to be some repurcussion for the act that leads to that.

Don Moore @ 7/23/2013 11:23 PM

You arrive at an accident and one of the drivers is non responsive. Whether or not the officer could tell she was in a diabetic event really has no bearing. At an accident, you secure the scene and provide emergency care. First consideration, is the driver non responsive due to the accident??? Provide care and protect life and do a proper investigation. A step was missed in this case. Plain and simple

Don Moore @ 7/23/2013 11:24 PM

and yes, I've been a cop for 25 years and a use of force instructor for the past 10. Protocol was not followed in this case.

Ima Leprechaun @ 7/24/2013 2:31 AM

Diabetics cannot resist while in a diabetic coma. This arrest was due to poor officer training and tactics. There was not a "time" factor because she could not go anywhere and using a lock jock would have been easy in this situation. Cops unfortunately are hot blooded and very violent toward people that appear weak. A diabetic coma looks exactly like a DUI and even the acetate smell on a diabetic's breath (remember that question from breathalyzer training?) is equal to an odor of an alcoholic beverage. By taking the time to try to talk to the woman it would have shown her inability to function or resist. Calling EMS and and letting them extract her would have been the better option and the safer play. After all she did just hit a truck, head injuries are very likely. Even if she had been drunk in an alcohol coma this situation was still life threatening. I know Officers are not trained in any medical coma's but they really need to be. Diabetics recover very slowly from beatings and may even die later from Officer inflicted injuries. I too am diabetic and I also have a implanted defibrillator/pacemaker if zapped by any stun gun it can make my defibrillator malfunction and kill me. I don't drink but in a diabetic coma I would appear drunk to a cop. I have died from low blood sugar (not driving) and I can assure you it is life threatening. But treating a diabetic roughly has dire consequences and considerable liability for the Police. But irregardless of why she was "out of it" the EMS would have been the best choice long before use of force by Police. Today's cops love to hit first and talk later. They start all their use of force at the top of the pyramid and work down which is just plain poor training. For the blogger about people with medical issues he needs to remember death by a sudden heart attack can happen to him or anyone else.

Mike @ 7/24/2013 4:14 AM

What a bunch of “Monday morning quarterbacks”. The video or details provided do not give enough information for any of you to second guess what these officers did. Why don’t you shut your hole until an investigation is completed? Based on the information provided you have no idea what the officers may have seen or heard. The woman said herself that she was so out of it she couldn’t even open her own door so maybe, just maybe the officers had no option but to bust the window to get her out. Furthermore, because of her strange behavior they handcuffed her for her safety as well as their own. For all of those that say, “I have been a cop for ( ) years and want to give your professional opinion, I bet if I had a camera on you throughout your career, you have made an error or two in judgment that you would love to be posted on this site.

Adam @ 7/24/2013 4:50 AM

I am a law enforcement officer who is cross trained as an EMT-B. I can tell you that to someone with no medical training, there's virtually no difference between the signs and symptoms of someone who's inebriated and someone who is hypoglycemic. It is incredibly common in the LE community to have these types of incidents, as at the time, there's no way to know which condition you are dealing with. And the common default is that you're dealing with a drunk person and to treat them as such. It's not ideal, but it is a reality.

I feel bad for the lady, but I can not fault the officers, they acted appropriately for what they reasonably perceived to be happening. And there's a legal precedent, in Graham v. Conner, 1989.

Ivy @ 7/24/2013 7:17 AM

If that was my mother I would be PISSED!!

Capt. Crunch @ 7/24/2013 9:38 AM

Ima,your description on diabetic coma is accurate,but your blanket statement about police officers being hot blooded and taking advanage of the weak and hitting first and asking questions later is way, way off the wall. You should be thankful we have police officers out there for are safety. These officers in the video are a small percentage of officers that lack proper training, they make us all look bad.

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