Thursday, October 22, 2009

Arpaio's Policies Include Shackling During Birth

Last summer, I covered the horrific story of Juana de la Paz being shackled during labor and, after the birth of her child, prevented from breastfeeding. That outrageous human rights abuse occured in Tennessee.

Well, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has brought this scourge of inhumane policy to Maricopa County:

During her second night behind bars, the bleeding started. On the morning of October 14, she felt contractions. Her hands and feet shackled, she was in labor and ushered into a paramedic's van by a detention officer who restrained her to the stretcher.

"That's not necessary," the paramedic told the officer.

"It's my job," the officer responded. The guard was a Latina.

She thought she would be released from the shackles once she arrived at the hospital, but she wasn't.

The officer chained her ankle to one leg of the hospital bed.

A nurse requested that she be freed to get a urine sample. But the officer suggested instead that her bed be dragged over to the bathroom.

Later she was changed from her jail uniform into a hospital gown.

"The officer chained me by the feet and the hands to the bed," she said. "And that's how my daughter was born."

Phoenix New Times

The Department of Justice needs to get off its ass and finish up their investigation so this domestic terrorism can end.