You can check my underwear.
February 1, 2007 4:16 PM   Subscribe

"I'm bleeding. You can check my underwear. I want to go to the hospital." "How is that my problem?" [MoralOutrageFilter] Despite Sofia Silva's telling the officers that she was having a miscarriage [links to video], she was refused medical attention and arrested on traffic violations and outstanding warrants (mistreatment of children and trespassing). The next day, the baby died after being born prematurely. Sofia is now suing the Kansas City Police Department.
posted by eunoia (74 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I hope Kansas City has its liability insurance paid up!
posted by mr_roboto at 4:20 PM on February 1, 2007


I don't know where those extra spaces came from, although the odds are pretty good that they're my fault. Sorry!
posted by eunoia at 4:20 PM on February 1, 2007


Guys, before you get bent out of shape, please remember that Ms. Silvia is obviously a bad person. SHE HAD OUTSTANDING WARRANTS.

The police were just doing their jobs. If you can't live within the confines of the law, then I don't know what to tell you . . . .
posted by John of Michigan at 4:22 PM on February 1, 2007


She's still owed her due rights, John, including some level of compassion.
posted by paulinsanjuan at 4:30 PM on February 1, 2007


I think John's being sarcastic, paulinsanjuan...
posted by brundlefly at 4:33 PM on February 1, 2007


Off-topic, but I'm distracted and fascinated by the second link, badcopnews.com. It includes headlines like:

"Truck Full Of Wetback Flips During High-Speed Border Patrol Chase, One Dead, Six To Feel Uncle Sam’s Boot In Their Ass When Deported"

"U.S. National Guard Soldiers Hold Their Position On Arizona Border Amid Attacks By Third World Invaders"

"America Strkes Back: Wetback’s Encampments Attacked By Vandals In Southern California"

Is there a policy on linking to sites like this?
posted by stammer at 4:36 PM on February 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


Following on stammer's point, they seem to use deferential terminology for officers in their headlines, and then use terms like 'wetback' in others. One wonders how they would contend with the idea of a Hispanic law enforcement agent.

Reading some of these makes my head hurt.

/stops
posted by quin at 4:45 PM on February 1, 2007


Should've tasered her.
posted by BaxterG4 at 4:50 PM on February 1, 2007


What's the matter with fucking Kansas? Or cops?

I hope she bankrupts the town.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:50 PM on February 1, 2007


What's the matter with fucking Kansas? Or cops?

I hope she bankrupts the town. How is that my problem? Well, officer fuckwad, you are about to find out.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:52 PM on February 1, 2007


Cry me a river.

"Is there a policy on linking to sites like this?"
posted by Captaintripps at 4:55 PM on February 1, 2007


NUKE THE SITE FROM ORBIT.
posted by nathancaswell at 4:57 PM on February 1, 2007


threepostmac, I hear the cops in Missouri are even worse.
posted by jtron at 5:01 PM on February 1, 2007


I am morally outraged that Kansas City is not in Kansas.
posted by peeedro at 5:06 PM on February 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


.
posted by roll truck roll at 5:07 PM on February 1, 2007


Ooooh, fourcheesemac just got geographically pwned.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:08 PM on February 1, 2007


Oh yeah before we end in another "hate/love" cop derailment, let's point out how good it is that police action was taped. Damn that is so fine, it clears good cops of some false accusations and nails some abusive one as well.

I guess cops must follow a procedure during an after arrest and I doubt there is a void of procedure when it comes to giving medical assistance , or a priority. The badcops site is a "tad" biased ?
posted by elpapacito at 5:12 PM on February 1, 2007


didn't we just have this discussion
posted by edgeways at 5:21 PM on February 1, 2007


roll truck roll: that was brilliant.
posted by rbs at 5:22 PM on February 1, 2007


Hey, at least she wasn't tasered!
posted by Big_B at 5:23 PM on February 1, 2007


I bet you a million dollars the normally screeching, histrionic Missouri right-to-lifers will be oddly silent on this one.

"Innocent life" is always trumped by law and order dontchaknow?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:24 PM on February 1, 2007


k, not the exact same story, but some simularities
posted by edgeways at 5:26 PM on February 1, 2007


What the gibbering fuck.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:29 PM on February 1, 2007


One would think there was a big misogynous bent to corrections facilities if you where a little bit alarmist/rational (you pick).
posted by edgeways at 5:30 PM on February 1, 2007


That’s not my job, my jobs not to help your ass out. Right now my job is eatin these donuts, or maybe...say, aren’t you?
*blam blam blam*

Yup.


The mistreatment of children warrent seems heavy, the other stuff is just crap. Cops get lied to all the time, that’s no excuse, but these guys seem particularly numb. She’d have been just as under arrest and in custody if they called in an EMT and got her checked out. Legally I don’t know their obligation to render aid in KC. But I know people don’t want their cops to behave like this. Spirit of the law, service, all that.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:41 PM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


god bles the U S of A !!!!

I'm happy I don't live there.
posted by dawdle at 5:43 PM on February 1, 2007


I'm calling shenanigans. She claims in the video that she's 3 months pregnant, and having a miscarriage. Now, at that point, the police should have arranged transport to a hospital. That's a given.

Where her story falls down is here:

Salva says jailers allowed her medical attention the morning after the stop and that she delivered a premature baby boy who died a minute after birth.
See...no. No, she didn't. This is a 14 week old fetus.

I'm not saying that a miscarriage at that stage of pregnancy wouldn't be traumatic in many cases, but I am saying that hyperbole like that used in the FPP of: baby dies from premature birth because cops are EEEEVIL, is over the top.

That stage of a fetus development is in no way, shape, or form, a viable birth "baby". It's barely done being a zygote. It is an unfortunate, but true fact, that most spontaneous miscarriages happen at about that stage of natal development.

Absolutely, I think the cops were negligent for not assuring medical care once she was in custody. But the "I gave birth, but the baby died, and it's all the cops fault.", that's just rank emotive, lawyerspeak bullshit, right there.
posted by dejah420 at 5:52 PM on February 1, 2007 [3 favorites]


Unless, of course, she might NOT have had the miscarriage if she HAD received prompt medical attention? Only Frist can be sure...
posted by matty at 5:59 PM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


The point is, she's not allowed to be emotive about losing her baby zygote.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 6:02 PM on February 1, 2007


It is an unfortunate, but true fact, that most spontaneous miscarriages happen at about that stage of natal development.

It is also a fact that modern medicine can sometimes prevent such miscarriages. She may well have lost the baby anyway, but we'll never know now, will we? So whether or not it was a zygote, a fetus or a baby is irrelevant. The woman should have been medical treatment immediately, not the morning after.
posted by Zinger at 6:02 PM on February 1, 2007


Only Frist can be sure...

After having viewed the videotape!
posted by ericb at 6:03 PM on February 1, 2007


According to this story, the department's policy is that "officers will procure transportation for a sick or injured person when requested or appropriate," and the officers involved have been suspended indefinitely. The suspension is with pay, but there's an investigation underway.
posted by dilettante at 6:11 PM on February 1, 2007


The woman should have been medical treatment immediately, not the morning after.

I'm not arguing that point. In fact, I made that point *twice*.

My argument, from neurolinguistic standpoint, and from a bioetchics standpoint, is with the terminology being thrown around in both this thread and the news reports.
posted by dejah420 at 6:13 PM on February 1, 2007


What's the matter with fucking Kansas?

Don't blame Kansas for this one. This incident happened on the Missouri side of the river.

I am morally outraged that Kansas City is not in Kansas.

It's in both Kansas AND Missouri... One big metro area, but two separate cities.
posted by amyms at 6:16 PM on February 1, 2007


Dejah420, the choice of terminology sounds like a bunch of people are accepting the anti-abortion movement's positions. If you go through google news, almost all the stories go right along with it, too, and once you start noticing, it gets disturbing.

This woman did not deliver a premature baby that lived for one second and then died. She had a miscarriage.
posted by dilettante at 6:20 PM on February 1, 2007


A cop's job is difficult. You pull over a woman for a valid reason, she doesn't appear to be pregnant, but she says she is and she's bleeding. For all you know, she could just be menstruating and angling for a hospital visit as a way of getting out of the ticket. Or distracting the cop from determining that she has a serious warrant. Is it a cop's job to arrange hospital transportation for every person that claims to need medical attention? If I get pulled over for speeding with a hangnail, do I instantly get medical care? Of course not. But there's a line that's dangerous to cross there, obviously.

This is tragedy borne not of how bad the cops are because The Man is Evil, but how bad we let the cops become through poor funding and attention and lack of accountability. So when cops have to make the difficult calls, they're less likely to make the wrong ones, and less likely to dismiss the real complaints amid all the bullshit ones.
posted by frogan at 6:23 PM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


This was in Kansas City, FL, right?
posted by Mister_A at 6:43 PM on February 1, 2007


Dejah420, the choice of terminology sounds like a bunch of people are accepting the anti-abortion movement's positions ... This woman did not deliver a premature baby that lived for one second and then died. She had a miscarriage.

It's really not a black and white thing, the woman is certainly entitled to feel that her "baby" died. Trying to impose a black and white morality on the temporal definition of "human" is an exercise in futility. There are always going to be edge cases.

Also, did the fetus take a breath? (Creepy if true, for sure) but that's usually what they do to determine infanticide cases.
posted by delmoi at 6:48 PM on February 1, 2007


For all you know, she could just be menstruating and angling for a hospital visit as a way of getting out of the ticket.

So why wouldn't you escort them to hospital, and THEN book them for wasting police time?
posted by pompomtom at 6:49 PM on February 1, 2007


If I get pulled over for speeding with a hangnail, do I instantly get medical care? Of course not. But there's a line that's dangerous to cross there, obviously.

Gee, you THINK?

If she's bleeding, I think she's got a little smidgen of cause to ask for medical attention. It isn't a hangnail. And I think a miscarriage is going to be a little heavier than heavy-flow period, therefore no "angling" required. Not a difficult call to make. Hell, most non-doctor males I can think of are probably going to err on the side of caution when it comes to Girly Parts, And Their Problems. So what was this guy's problem?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:50 PM on February 1, 2007


In this article she mentions that she was given several changes of pants for the bleeding but was not taken to the hospital until the next day.
posted by hindmost at 6:50 PM on February 1, 2007


Is it a cop's job to arrange hospital transportation for every person that claims to need medical attention?

That's easy: Yes. Once they're admitted to the hospital, you'll know where they are and can run a more thorough background check if you want. If it turns out they were lying, you can charge them with lying to the police. It also seems to be the policy of KC here, which is why the cops are now on indefinite suspension.

Really a simple policy of "Always take people who appear or claim to be in need of medical attention to the hospital" dosn't have any downsides that I see. No "difficult line to walk" at all..
posted by delmoi at 6:51 PM on February 1, 2007 [3 favorites]


Politics are lame. Anti-abortion, pro-abortion, whatfuckingever. Get over it. To Sofia, it was her baby ("I have a baby in my stomach."). She planned to have it and now she will not have it, maybe due to these cops being total asshats. Abortion rights are about a woman's right to choose when to have a baby and when not to and she had chosen to have a baby.

As a woman, who can potentially get pregnant, if I had decided to bring a child to term and this had happened to me, I would be pretty upset to read news stories about the "zygote" or the "fetus." She calls it a baby so I call it a baby. Maybe the people offended by her use of that word should call her up and explain to her why it's not the correct terminology.

Now, whether or not the law is on her side when it comes to her wrongful death suit is another matter entirely.
posted by eunoia at 6:58 PM on February 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


Her name is SALVA, not Silva.
posted by j-urb at 7:04 PM on February 1, 2007


Her name is SALVA, not Silva.

We must wait until all the facts are in!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:23 PM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sara Sofia Salva Stout,
Went and let the fetus out.
posted by sourwookie at 7:24 PM on February 1, 2007 [3 favorites]


This woman did not deliver a premature baby that lived for one second and then died. She had a miscarriage.

and from another post

My argument, from neurolinguistic standpoint, and from a bioetchics standpoint, is with the terminology being thrown around in both this thread and the news reports.

Yes, we can all sit around here and be clinical and say "12 weeks? A zygote. 14 weeks? A fetus." As Eunoia said, whatever.

But as anyone who has ever been pregnant can tell you - particularly in planned pregnancies - you never think of it as anything but a baby - even if you're trying hard not to in case something goes wrong in the early stages. It is alive, it is inside you, and it is your baby. Even if it was technically not a baby when she lost it, it was going to be her baby, and it the loss of what could have been that she is feeling.

And incidentally, you can feel them moving around that early.
posted by Zinger at 7:27 PM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]



Spare me the "cops have to make difficult calls" bullshit.

The police are so out of control now, that even when they know they are on camera, they act like scum.

They're comfortable in the knowledge that they will never get in any trouble- because who always investigates this sort of behavior? The police.
posted by wfc123 at 7:35 PM on February 1, 2007


And watch the spin on this story on your the local news. It almost always portays the police as the "good guys" who were "forced to take action".

This is because news outlets rely heavily on the police to get breaking news, so producers, assignment editors and news directors are hesitant to burn bridges.
posted by wfc123 at 7:42 PM on February 1, 2007


Is it a cop's job to arrange hospital transportation for every person that claims to need medical attention?

Yes, actually, it is.

This is tragedy borne not of how bad the cops are because The Man is Evil, but how bad we let the cops become through poor funding and attention and lack of accountability.

No, this is because most of the low lifes cops deal with lie and carry on. When someone who looks like one of those low lifes has a real problem the cops just assume it's another liar or scammer. It doesn't make it right, and it doesn't excuse the cops' failures, it just is the source of the problem. Good cops have good judgment. Most cops have ok judgment, but bad cops with bad judgment can cause a whole raft of problems. Police forces need to do a better job of holding officers to high standards and weeding out the cops with bad judgment, personality problems and the like. Unlike other jobs, public lives are put at risk when these employers fail. Because of the very real and shared dangers it becomes even harder than in most employment situations to weed out some guy who will watch your back but perhaps not care about a citizen. These guys should be watchmen on late night duty, not officers with a badge.
posted by caddis at 8:09 PM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


someone who looks like one of those low lifes

Huh?
posted by dazed_one at 8:39 PM on February 1, 2007


From one of the linked articles..
"The officers ignored her requests, arrested her for traffic citations and outstanding city warrants, and put her in jail. She said she spent the next 10 hours pleading with jailers for medical help"

It does sound like the beat cops that arrested her were callous to her situation, yes, but cops get lied to all the time. They probably thought she was trying to get out of a situation. They made the arrest, and took her to jail to be booked. She probably wasn't with them for more than 45 minutes.

It sounds like the people at the jail are the ones that really fucked up. There's absolutely no reason at all for them to ignore her at that point. Especially not for 10 hours when they were aware of the fact that she was bleeding.
posted by drstein at 9:00 PM on February 1, 2007


"But as anyone who has ever been pregnant can tell you - particularly in planned pregnancies - you never think of it as anything but a baby"

Bullshit. I've known women in unplanned pregnancies who thought of it as "a broken rubber", a "slipped diaphragm", "a thing" and/or "that parasite". And even in planned pregnancies attitudes may vary over time. And I've known quite a few women in lo my many eons, too.

But anyway. I agree with delmoi that cops lose little by taking someone to a hospital when they claim to be ill, even if they arrest him/her first. The same with jailers. Even if the "alleged perpetrator" is a woman, or a drunk, a draq queen, or some other kind of "low life."
posted by davy at 9:23 PM on February 1, 2007


It sounds like the people at the jail are the ones that really fucked up. There's absolutely no reason at all for them to ignore her at that point. Especially not for 10 hours when they were aware of the fact that she was bleeding.

Agreed. The last few days have been chock-full of appalling jail stories, especially regarding women.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:32 PM on February 1, 2007


I've known women in unplanned pregnancies who thought of it as "a broken rubber", a "slipped diaphragm", "a thing" and/or "that parasite".

uggghhh
posted by caddis at 9:36 PM on February 1, 2007


That stage of a fetus development is in no way, shape, or form, a viable birth "baby".

It seems to me that there's good reason to question the actual length of Miss Salva's pregnancy, and the articles aren't really providing concrete information on the issue. Hey initial claim was 3 months but, she may well not have known how long she was pregnant, especially if she had not received any prenatal care, which seems probable. One article simply repeats the 3 month claim, while another states that she was "4 months" along but later states that the lawsuit holds police responsible for the birth occurring "5 months" prematurely which would actually have made her "5 months" pregnant.

(There's a reason why people who are really trying to date a pregnancy use weeks, and this is it. This months crap just doesn't translate well, particularly with the common pregnancy = 9 months myth.)

In any case, if she was 12 weeks pregnant (3 months) then the "premature birth" and a baby who lived for a minute is an impossibility. I also don't believe that any doctor would portray a miscarriage at that gestational age as a "premature birth" to the extent that both Miss Salva and her attorney are relying upon that idea as foundation for this lawsuit.

At 16 weeks gestation, it's statistically likely to be much the same picture as at 12 weeks.

But the lawsuit alleges not only that Miss Salva "gave birth prematurely" it also alleges that the child's gender could be ascertained (male) and that he lived for a minute. At 20 weeks pregnant, as the "5 months premature" statement would imply, this is entirely plausible. There are certainly visible genitals at that point (as evidenced by many parents' happy claims of impending baby boys based on 20 week ultrasounds) and there is potential viability. (The earliest-born surviving preemie, who is now 19 years old, was born at about 20 and a half weeks gestation.) The child would be tiny and barely resembling what we think of as a "baby" but it wouldn't be described as the "products of conception" at that point.

All that said to say that we shouldn't get hung up on the gestational age thing.
posted by Dreama at 11:25 PM on February 1, 2007


Dreama - to me, 5 months premature means she [gave birth/had miscarriage/whatever] following four months of gestation i.e. at about 16-17 weeks. Anyone else agree or have I been labouring (ha) under a misconception?
posted by altolinguistic at 12:50 AM on February 2, 2007


What the fuck are you people talking about? 14 weeks vs 16 weeks? How exactly does this have anything to do with the story? She was bleeding profusely for more than 10 hours, she was requesting medical attention, and was ignored. What does the pregnancy stage or indeed the fact that she was pregnant at all has anything to do with the fact that the cops were supposed to take her to the hospital?
Neurolinguistic standpoint my ass.
posted by c13 at 3:52 AM on February 2, 2007


c13, I think you'll find nobody is trying to say the exact age of the fetus has any bearing on whether or not the woman should have received medical attention. It's a tangent. Calm yourself.
posted by thirteenkiller at 3:56 AM on February 2, 2007


Oh, so a "derail" is OK as long as it is a "tangent"? I see. Well, carry on showing off your mad embryo and bioethics skillz then.
posted by c13 at 4:19 AM on February 2, 2007


c13 is RIGHT ON, what is wrong with the people on this board?

The woman CLEARLY needed MEDICAL CARE and it is the responsiblity of the POLICE to err on the side of caution.

This is a no-brainer, folks. The goofy cops' careers are over and she is going to get MILLIONS.

America proves its stupidity ONCE AGAIN!
posted by CameraObscura at 5:06 AM on February 2, 2007


I can USE the CAPITALS LOCK button. I am so AWESOME.

People aren't TALKING about what I WANT to talk about.

WAH WAH WAH!
posted by Captaintripps at 5:09 AM on February 2, 2007


Cry me a RIVER Captian.
posted by CameraObscura at 5:23 AM on February 2, 2007


Traffic Rank for axesandalleys.com: 3,648,188

Mighty IMPRESSIVE.
posted by CameraObscura at 5:26 AM on February 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Thanks for helping bump that up a bit!
posted by Captaintripps at 5:32 AM on February 2, 2007


Is it too late to mark my territory?
posted by LordSludge at 6:45 AM on February 2, 2007


altolinguistic: a full term pregnancy is 40 weeks. Substract 5 months (21 weeks) and you'll end up with 19 weeks gestation. Depending on how you round, it could also be 20/21 weeks, and of course the people who said that she may have not known exactly how far along she was are also correct. At 19 weeks many people already feel the baby and a miscarriage is not that common anymore (actually, a miscarriage at 14 weeks is not that common either. Miscarriages before 12 weeks are common).
posted by davar at 7:31 AM on February 2, 2007


c13 : "What does the pregnancy stage or indeed the fact that she was pregnant at all has anything to do with the fact that the cops were supposed to take her to the hospital? "

It doesn't have much to do with it. But it's a point of discussion. Other than that, we basically have "what the cops did was fucked up" "what the jail did was fucked up", and people disagree a lot less about that, so there isn't much to discuss.

CameraObscura : "This is a no-brainer, folks."

Exactly. More people are discussing the fetus/zygote/whatever aspect because the rest of it is a no-brainer. Would you prefer a discussion consisting of "Yeah! What the poster above me said!" repeated ad nauseum? That's not a discussion, that's a roll call.
posted by Bugbread at 8:24 AM on February 2, 2007


Thank you, davar, for addressing what I asked, and clearing up my confusion. I was querying why '5 months premature' was being interpreted as '5 months pregnant', and I suppose it could be, in a way.

Yes, she certainly needed medical care, yes it's scandalous she didn't get it. Fine. But I won't just swallow any old news source which tells me so, and which parrots the lawyer's emotive language in order to manipulate the reader. Bandwagons are not for me. And I will not be told which aspects of a situation I may or may not discuss. C13 and CameraObscura - please don't.
posted by altolinguistic at 8:40 AM on February 2, 2007


on preview - THANK YOU, BUGBREAD!!!
posted by altolinguistic at 8:41 AM on February 2, 2007


Just in case anyone is curious, the big case on this is Estelle v Gamble which held that corrections officers violate a prisoner's 8th amendment rights when they display "deliberate indifference" in denying access to medical care. The plaintiff must show that the denial of care resulted in significant pain or additional injury that could have been prevented otherwise.

It is worthwhile to note that Estelle does not hold that mere malpractice is a violation of Constitutional rights, but does assert that the state can violate a person's Constitutional rights by failing to provide or blocking access to health care.

Now depending on whether Missouri has laws regarding fetal health and welfare, it's possible that Salva might have other grounds for a suit.

The other side of the story is that getting medical care to prisoners is sometimes logistically tricky, and jails as opposed to prisons are notorious for being under-staffed and not providing key services. Still, there is no reason why she couldn't have been isolated in an interview room and evaluated by an EMT or nurse practitioner.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:18 AM on February 2, 2007


“And even in planned pregnancies attitudes may vary over time.”

Yeah...well, all things being equal, if it were my wife and my child these cops and the C.O.’s would be in the ground by now. And I suspect I’d be acquitted.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:00 AM on February 2, 2007


you pull someone over and they have blood in their pants all over their crotch and they tell you they need to get to the hospital. what do you do? what is wrong with you people? if she was white this never would have happened.

(oh, and do you really think cops have no experience pulling over people who are en route to hospitals with medical emergencies?)

btw, if the fetus wasnt viable, thats all the more reason to get her to the hospital so they can do what they can to keep her from miscarrying.
posted by mano at 11:57 AM on February 2, 2007


Inconsiderate, sub-human swine!
posted by lometogo at 2:44 PM on February 2, 2007


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