Join 3,363 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Non-lethal injections
May 14, 2008 8:11 AM   Subscribe

The U.S. government has injected hundreds of foreigners it has deported with dangerous psychotropic drugs against their will to keep them sedated during the trip back to their home country

"The government's forced use of antipsychotic drugs, in people who have no history of mental illness, includes dozens of cases in which the "pre-flight cocktail," as a document calls it, had such a potent effect that federal guards needed a wheelchair to move the slumped deportee onto an airplane."
posted by Kirth Gerson (99 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
And if you did it to yourself and tried to board a plane, they'd arrest you as a terror threat.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:17 AM on May 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


so is it psychotropic or anti psychotropic? Or both? Either way, it sounds like quite the 'trip'
posted by weezy at 8:23 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Did they slap them on the ass and say "have a nice trip" too?
posted by Acey at 8:24 AM on May 14, 2008


Let's see: torture, "pre-emptive" invasion, forced drugging, ubiquitous surveillance of ordinary citizens under cover of "state secrets."

Is there anything that the Soviet Union used to do that the GOP still has to catch up on?
posted by digaman at 8:27 AM on May 14, 2008 [10 favorites]


Forced labor & death camps. They're probably working on those somewhere. Freedom Camping, perhaps?
posted by aramaic at 8:30 AM on May 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Weezy: psychotropic, anti-psychotic. See here.
posted by lumensimus at 8:30 AM on May 14, 2008


Big furry hats?
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 8:31 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Holy crap.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:31 AM on May 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Every time I tell myself "there's nothing that these bozos can do to shock me at this point," they go ahead and do something like this.
posted by octothorpe at 8:33 AM on May 14, 2008 [12 favorites]


Free air travel with a complimentary cocktail? Do you know how high I have to run up my Delta Miles Visa card to get that kind of treatment? Ungrateful bastards.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:33 AM on May 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Don't drug me, bro.
posted by DU at 8:37 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Was the federal government really that much better during the Clinton years? I seem to recall lots of totalitarian bullshit, just on a much smaller scale.

Does anyone think that even an Obama presidency we'd be rid of it? It just seems like the "police state" has too much momentum.
posted by delmoi at 8:38 AM on May 14, 2008


Forced labor & death camps. They're probably working on those somewhere.

Too late, we already have them. Of course, those aren't death camps or forced labor camps, they're... relocation and detention camps, citizen. Now move along!
posted by vorfeed at 8:40 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


What? No Ramones lyrics yet?
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:43 AM on May 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Forced labor & death camps. They're probably working on those somewhere.

Ever heard of REX 84? There are FEMA-run concentration camps already built and fully staffed on US soil, to be used in the event of martial law. In 2006, guess who was awarded a contract to build more (if you didn't guess, the link leads to a press release the website of everyone's favorite war profiteers, Halliburton subsidiary KBR). I remember hearing about this as long ago as the early 90s, and it comes up every once in a while, but mostly you only hear about it from Alex Jones types. This is one conspiracy that's actually true, though.
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:44 AM on May 14, 2008


vorfeed: beat me to it while I was looking for the press release.
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:45 AM on May 14, 2008


And... yet... somehow... the policy makers won't be held responsible in any way. If the trends of the past 7 1/2 years hold true.
posted by vertigo25 at 8:49 AM on May 14, 2008


During the 2007 fiscal year, ending in October, 53 people were sedated without a psychiatric reason, according to a Washington Post analysis based on government records. Fifty of them were injected with Haldol. All those people also were given Ativan, and all but three were given Cogentin as well. Two deportees received Ativan alone, and one person's medications were not clear from the records.

This sounds like an excuse for Big Pharma to test on "human guinea pigs," as they no doubt are in Guantanamo and I've read elsewhere that they are in the Third World.

After injecting the sedatives, the nurse travels with the deportee and immigration guards to their destination, usually giving more doses along the way. To recruit medical escorts, the government has sought to glamorize this work. "Do you ever dream of escaping to exotic, exciting locations?" said an item in an agency newsletter. "Want to get away from the office but are strapped for cash? Make your dreams come true by signing up as a Medical Escort for DIHS!"

Aside from the truly disturbing ethical issue and human rights violation of sedation through psychotropical vacation in order to, ostensibly, remove folks from the nation, which is obviously a really bad situation, akin to mental castration, all in the name of deportation, one wonders at the cost? A rough calculation:

(from WaPo article):Here is a breakdown of time in custody for fiscal 2006, the most recent information ICE could provide. The figures exclude nearly 5,800 detainees who are seeking asylum.

Less than three months: 206,325
Three to six months: 10,828
Six to nine months: 2,644
Nine months to one year: 1,269
More than one year: 1,809


Figure at least $50k to house, feed, moniter, process well over 200,000 folks caught in Kafkaesque limbo for just one year, and that's well over $10 billion per year based on the figures above.

Now let's focus on the 250 known cases the WaPo article estimates were subjected to being drugged, so figure at least $20k per case (that includes keeping these deportees in legal limbo through bureaucratic process, R/T airfare for the "nurse," O/W airfare for the "subject," plus paperwork, hotel for the "nurse" for one night or so until he/she returns to the States, etc), that's at least $5 million just for the 250 deported this way, and not including the budget for the ICE at all.

Now that's really, really miniscule compared to what we're wasting in Iraq or on any given day in other stuff, but it's also a reminder of how casually and routinely misdirected, abused and misspent our funds are. There are probably some evil rightwing knuckleheads who would say, "well just shoot 'em," but my guess is we would save money just by giving these people citizenship. "What, and reward them for entering illegally?" the right would drone. No, to reward ourselves for the fact that they would in all likelihood be hard working citizens, and not, as the right would have us think, a drain on social services.
posted by ornate insect at 9:01 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dear Non-batshitinsane Nations of the Earth,

Greetings from the United States. I'm writing you today to to be considered for citizenship in your at least halfway sensible country. My personal background and skills make me an excellent match for this position.

I have been steadily gainfully employed since earning my bachelor's degree. I am currently an academic technical services librarian with an MLS and an additional advanced degree in linguistics. I can read German, read and speak Spanish, and have a working knowledge of Dublin Core and other metadata schemas. I am also familiar with the Universal Decimal Classification system.

I am personally frugal, but willing to spend tax money on universal health care, rail transportation, and renewable energy programs. I do not and will not have children, but believe a decent education is imperative to a nation's economic progress and I am willing to fund it with tax dollars and volunteer time.

I prefer continental weather, but am also quite comfortable with a Mediterranean climate. I also enjoy eating cheese.

In sum, I am an excellent fit for this position, and look forward being a responsible, productive citizen in your non-insane nation.

Best wishes,

Nate P.

Enclosures
posted by cog_nate at 9:03 AM on May 14, 2008 [40 favorites]


What a load of librul bullshit! I'm a patriotic American and I trust President Bush to make the right decision on who does or doesn't get involuntarily drugged. Why, I've got a list right here ... [*takes sip of tap water*] ... of un-American traitors to this great nation who, uh....

...say, I .....I do believe my hands are melting.

Uh, I should prob- um, ....uh.

uhhhhhhhhh
posted by Avenger at 9:05 AM on May 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Is the guy from the article, Ade, the one that has been sending me emails to transfer millions of dollars around between our bank accounts? It says he comes from a prominent Nigerian family...
posted by JibberJabber at 9:05 AM on May 14, 2008


This is better than free government cheese.

Where do I sign up?
posted by three blind mice at 9:07 AM on May 14, 2008


ICE, in particular, is scary. :(
posted by zach4000 at 9:16 AM on May 14, 2008


Death camps? Got yer death camps right here:
Ms. Lofgren said the agency’s count of deaths could understate the problem, because detainees who were denied critical treatment could die after they were released or deported.

She cited the case of Francisco Castaneda, a Salvadoran who testified at the hearing last fall that he was denied a biopsy for a painful lesion on his penis for 11 months while he was in detention as an illegal immigrant, despite his pleas and doctors’ recommendations. By the time he received the treatment he had been seeking, in February 2007, he was found to have metastasized penile cancer, records show; his penis had to be amputated.

He was released from detention after a diagnosis of terminal cancer, and died on Feb. 16 this year at age 36, leaving behind a 14-year-old daughter.
More and horrifyingly more.
posted by rtha at 9:17 AM on May 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


I would have used a taser. Oh, but wait, you guys don't like those either do you?

I guess all the people that should be deported can now just refuse to get on the plane, and voila, they are automatic U.S. citizens.

Hey, let's do this for our own prisons, too! Don't want to go to jail? Just refuse to go and we'll set you free!

/sarcasm off
posted by tadellin at 9:20 AM on May 14, 2008


We've got a lot of work ahead of us to restore some semblance of the nation's honor.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:21 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey, let's do this for our own prisons, too! Don't want to go to jail? Just refuse to go and we'll set you free!

Funny how we manage to transport hundreds of thousands of people to prison without drugging them all unconscious. It's as if...there may be another way?
posted by desuetude at 9:35 AM on May 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Kirth Gerson, I didn't know about this. Thanks for posting it.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:38 AM on May 14, 2008


Back when I was working at my last job, we always had trouble getting Bosco "B.A." Baracus to fly peacefully. The man just did not want to board any of the many planes, helicopters or experimental rockets that our work regularly required us to use as transportation. It's all well and good to sit on Metafilter and snark about the ethics of drugging someone without their consent, but when you need to get a giant, mohawked war veteran fugitive wearing fifty pound of gold chains onto a plane in a hurry, you'll be thankful for his apparent inability to turn down a tall glass of ice cold milk.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:39 AM on May 14, 2008 [8 favorites]


Is there a word stronger than "ashamed"? "Mortified" doesn't really convey sadness that well.
posted by giraffe at 9:42 AM on May 14, 2008


I don't know about the other stuff, but ativan is a really great mild sedative. I always keep some around for flying and stuff like that.
posted by snsranch at 9:48 AM on May 14, 2008


I was pretty sure I had lost the ability to be shocked, but "shock" is exactly what's registering right now. Shock. Thanks for posting this, I might never have known.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:56 AM on May 14, 2008


This past Sunday CBS 60 Minutes aired a segment as a companion piece to the FPP's Washington Post article (which is one in a series). The 60 Minutes program: Detention In America [video | 13:12].
posted by ericb at 10:01 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why the ruckus? Local jails and prisons administer seds on a regular basis in a number of contexts. We drug nearly all residents in old people's homes. School children are herded into drug-crazed physicians' offices.

Now, you all cry "these poor folks were drugged against their will" !!
So are many of those I mentioned in above paragraph. And, these deportees have arguably fewer rights than a convicted felon in the US. THey are not citizens, many have broken our laws once here, and are being forced to go home.

Hell.... in the old days, when you were being led to a physical process and a fate that your entire being feared and loathed, like being hanged or shot against the wall, your hands were tied and face blindfolded.

As our society becomes increasingly settled on chemistry as a way of making our food and dealing with life, it is no surprise that local jailers, marshals, hospital orderlies, teachers, etc etc will just get out the syringes, rather than deal with people who have less rights than others and who could become emotional and overly physical.

Give them the sedatives and "all aboard" Hell... they are getting a free ride home, and are handled relatively well.
posted by yazi at 10:05 AM on May 14, 2008


WP reporters Dana Priest and Amy Goldstein discuss the series [video | 04:28].

Map of Detention Facilities
"Based on confidential medical records and other sources, The Washington Post identified 83 deaths of immigration detainees between March 2003, when the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was created, and March 2008."
posted by ericb at 10:08 AM on May 14, 2008


Dear US Government,

Please drug me and send me somewhere else.

Thx,

-sW
posted by smackwich at 10:10 AM on May 14, 2008 [8 favorites]


Parasite Unseen, if this were only used as last resort for those who were truly violently resisting (like it's supposed to), it would be less mortifying to many of us. It's that "last resort" has turned into a policy of "meh, convenience" that is so disheartening.

yazi, while comparing extradition to a firing squad is likely often sadly appropriate, it is not the supposed intention of the US government, and thus needn't require such procedures. Hey, if we want to prove how REALLY bad-ass we are, perhaps we should hood these folks! Maybe strip 'em, too! That'll show everyone what happens when you try to...uh, overstay your student visa without filling out the paperwork correctly.
posted by desuetude at 10:17 AM on May 14, 2008


If it's good enough for B.A. Baracus...
posted by symbioid at 10:38 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


yazi rhymes with ???
posted by symbioid at 10:41 AM on May 14, 2008


yahtzee
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 10:44 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hell... they are getting a free ride home, and are handled relatively well.

I always tip my stewardess well when she drags me to the back of the plane while I've been drugged into oblivion. You don't often find good service like that these days!
posted by giraffe at 10:50 AM on May 14, 2008


Desuetude: For the record, I want to make it clear that I don't support the drugging of non-violent deportees by the United States government. My comment was a reference to a running gag on a television show that was popular during my childhood. In common Metafilter-speak, this is "something one would need a television to know".

On reflection, I fall back on the eternal truth that any joke that needs to be explained probably wasn't all that funny in the first place.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:52 AM on May 14, 2008


I certainly would not argue that our millions of govt. officials are not nuts, and our policies not nuts. In many respects they are. Gee, it would be nice if our millions of govt. officials were all well-bred, cultured and educated. But they are not, and often they are nuts, and our policies are nuts.

Take the problem to this kind of analysis. What would you do if this were a problem in your house? What if you came home from a week's vacation and your 17-yr old son/daughter had staged a party and it was out of control, and there were six nasty, angry guys up to age 20 or so, threatening you if you try to stop the party. If you could handle guns, and you owned one, you would be right to force them all to gather in one place, make them sit on the floor, have someone tie their hands behind them, and march them off your property. No? Someone would of course sue you for having pulled your gun and tied their hands.

Our slovenly US officials don't perhaps need to give these drugs, but they seem to perceive these people as a bunch of threatening rabble. In some minority of cases they are threatening and perhaps bound to become troublesome and physical.

Thanks for the name-calling. I chose this name years ago and it has nothing to do with Nazis. It's pronounced "YAH-dzuh"
posted by yazi at 10:54 AM on May 14, 2008


The funny thing about security policy is that the DHS and various agencies like to keep it all under wraps to prevent the terrorists from learning about our methods and policies. It's not until someone digs deep or a memo (site has a security certificate issue, heh) gets leaked that we find out about this stuff.

"Security through obscurity" is not something we only use for national security. It's weaknesses in other fields have been consistently acknowledged.

Personally, I think if we let everyone look at and decide our security policy, we could let the invisible hand work its magic, avoid the really immoral stuff, and politicians could shield themselves from unpopular policies by saying "hey, you approved it!" Granted, we can't put absolutely everything to referendum, nor can we pack everyone into an NSA briefing, but some openness in our legislative process could be a worthwhile step.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 10:54 AM on May 14, 2008


"I chose this name years ago and it has nothing to do with Nazis. It's pronounced 'YAH-dzuh'"

Huh. From the way you spelt it, I would have assumed it was pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove".
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:56 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


yazi rhymes with ???

Symbioid: While I wholeheartedly approve what appears to be the first steps in preparing to challenge Yazi to a freestly rap battle, I feel that I wouldn't be much of a friend if I didn't first give you notice that asking for help in coming up with your rhymes is going to make you look like a biter.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:59 AM on May 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


And, these deportees have arguably fewer rights than a convicted felon in the US.

They still have rights as human beings. I think it's reasonable to say that those rights include not being drugged without your consent unless there are seriously extenuating circumstances. There are no such circumstances in most of these cases.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:59 AM on May 14, 2008


I guess all the people that should be deported can now just refuse to get on the plane, and voila, they are automatic U.S. citizens.

ok

Hey, let's do this for our own prisons, too! Don't want to go to jail? Just refuse to go and we'll set you free!

ok
posted by regicide is good for you at 11:07 AM on May 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!


... only to slam it shut! Right in their faces! And then pump them full of sedatives before throwing them back into the sea. Psyche!
posted by WalterMitty at 11:14 AM on May 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


Parasite: Oh. Erm. Well, see, in retrospect I just feel stupid now. I got that there was some sort of hyperbole happening and then got all distracted by yazi and before you know it, I'd not really read your response with some sort of referencefiltershades which were probably placed upon me by a government agent! *sigh*

Yazi, your comparison is not apt. What would one do in an unexpected violation of their property and family? vs. it is your job to transport these people every day -- following defined policies and procedures that address this very situation is what you do for a living
posted by desuetude at 11:15 AM on May 14, 2008


Mr/Ms Parasite ... and Crash... :
I don't get your humor and your references. I'm just not in on it. Sorry.

To "Desuetude"... yes, you're right, my comparison is not apt entirely. Let me try to make my point clearer: why should we be in a moral uproar about a slovenly, rabble-like world of officials who have inherited a bureaucratic way of acting and reacting that is partly psycho, when in fact this kind of bur'tc way of handling things pervades our food, our schools, old people's retirement villas, etc etc.? I'm trying to get social perspective, even if the image from that new perspective is not encouraging. With perspective, we can move on to more important things, like why don't we make our borders very very gnarly and tight, like the Chinese do? So we don't have to have this insane problem of herding around millions of often nameless, often mild-mannered, illegal residents !! China feels very sovereign about its borders. Why don't we?
posted by yazi at 11:26 AM on May 14, 2008


I'm sooooo glad I saw this FPP after, and not before, I had my meeting with Immigration Services this morning.
posted by Kattullus at 11:28 AM on May 14, 2008


Yazi: Why shouldn't we? Also, China is rather an odd choice for comparison as well.
posted by desuetude at 11:37 AM on May 14, 2008


That coupled with this have made today a very bad day in U.S. immigration and customs news.

It's like an onion, but worse: so many layers and it makes me want to cry vomit.
posted by kittyprecious at 11:54 AM on May 14, 2008


A combination of Haldol and Ativan is used in a variety of different contexts throughout the country. People in nursing homes, agitated hospital patients, inmates, and psychiatric patients all receive similar regimens. Some of them are quite mild but are indeed effective at inducing somnolence. Hard to call it less humane than tasering or straightjacketing.
posted by fraxil at 12:15 PM on May 14, 2008


This is a disgrace. I'm ashamed of my country. This is something the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany would do, not the U.S.
posted by mike3k at 12:46 PM on May 14, 2008


Is there anything that the Soviet Union used to do that the GOP still has to catch up on?
A functioning healthcare system?
Getting the hell out of Afghanistan?
posted by Grangousier at 12:50 PM on May 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


ornate insect -- If I may...:

Aside from the truly disturbing ethical issue and human rights violation
of sedation
through psychotropical vacation
in order to, ostensibly, remove folks from the nation,
which is obviously a really bad situation,
akin to mental castration,
all in the name of deportation,
one wonders at the cost? A rough calculation:

BASS SOLO

posted by LordSludge at 1:08 PM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


tadellin writes "I would have used a taser. Oh, but wait, you guys don't like those either do you?
"I guess all the people that should be deported can now just refuse to get on the plane, and voila, they are automatic U.S. citizens.
"Hey, let's do this for our own prisons, too! Don't want to go to jail? Just refuse to go and we'll set you free!
"/sarcasm off"


Ya, this is such a good idea let's just issue every cop, sheriff, and rent a cop a pneumatic syringe and a dart gun loaded with this stuff . We could even take away their hand cuffs.

smackwich writes "Dear US Government,"Please drug me and send me somewhere else."Thx,"-sW"

Problem is they send you to Syria or Romania rather than Bora Bora or Tahiti.

yazi writes "why don't we make our borders very very gnarly and tight, like the Chinese do?"

Your guys border fence is looking pretty half assed compared to the chinese.
posted by Mitheral at 1:27 PM on May 14, 2008


kittyprecious: Ugh, that article is uncomfortably familiar. A friend of mine in Sweden travels to the US frequently for his company and had a rather unpleasant problem when trying to enter the country once. This bit he wrote about it covers it pretty well, but hearing him tell the whole story after it happened was quite a bit worse.

Yeah, we do a lot of fucked up things in this country.
posted by Stunt at 1:38 PM on May 14, 2008


If this disturbs you, write your congresspeople. It's especially bad because this is happening to people who don't have representation in US government.
posted by Asymptote at 2:47 PM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I had to visit a Social Security office today, on behalf of my brother. Like most government buildings since Oklahoma City and 9-11, there is a uniformed security guard at the entrance, and signs posted that no firearms, electronic devices or food/beverages are allowed in the office, and that all purses and bags are subject to inspection. That apparently was a major invasion of privacy issue for a 200 pound black woman 2 persons ahead of me in line, and she went ballistic when asked to remove the contents of her large purse for inspection (no Xray scanners at this small office). Within 10 seconds of when she started shouting at him, she was scuffling with the security guard, a short apparently Asian man, who might have weighed 120 pounds, and was 4 or 5 inches shorter than this woman. Several of us stood taken aback at this outbreak, before pressing forward uncertianly towards him, to assist if we could, but the security guard was going for his belt, and pushing her back, against her determined resistance, through the glass door the rest of us in line were waiting behind.

She wasn't tasered, or drugged, so we never learned what was in the guard's belt pouch, and a SS supervisor quickly came out to support the security guard, and wisely, listened to her ranting and crying. And got that drama queen outside, in a move that was both human and courageous. I don't know that I would have taken the chance he did, as he had no way of knowing whether she was armed, crazy, on drugs, or just acting out. But he did what he did, and it turned out OK, although the stupid woman was still making grandiose threats of "suing that Nazi" referring to the security guard, as she left the premises.

But I think, having seen the whole thing, that tasering her, or sedating her, would have been justified. Sane people needn't raise their voices, much less physically struggle, with government agents. Those that do, however justified they may feel, invite escalation, and it's simply not necessary.

But for those of you painting, with a broad brush, all government workers as heartless totalitarians, I'm just chiming in to say, that the folks at the Jacksonville, FL Social Security Service Center at 3733 University Blvd., today put your theories in a cocked hat.
posted by paulsc at 3:01 PM on May 14, 2008


"SS supervisor"
posted by stevil at 3:42 PM on May 14, 2008


If this disturbs you, write your congresspeople. It's especially bad because this is happening to people who don't have representation in US government.

Hi, I live in D.C.
posted by kittyprecious at 3:44 PM on May 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


But I think, having seen the whole thing, that tasering her, or sedating her, would have been justified.

I watched a scene unfold on a city bus a few days ago that involved an irate passenger, an irate bus driver, and two other irate passengers who got into it with irate passenger #1. IP#1 had an argument with the driver about the fare (I'm unclear about what, exactly - I think IP#1 paid the senior fare, but didn't show his ID, and the driver wanted him to pay the full fare). This exchange started fairly quietly, but once the driver put the bus into park and refused to move unless the fare was paid or the ID produced, the shouting started. IP#1 got all up in the driver's face; the driver yelled back; another passenger yelled at IP#1 etc. etc. The driver finally started to go again, but IP#1 was still fussing. IP#1 was, btw, a fairly big guy, disabled (cane, bad limp), and very shouty; he was at least 50 years old. A couple stops later someone else got on and IP#1 said something to the driver about why didn't he ask to see that person's ID yadda yadda.

Well, this passenger got into it with IP#1. IP#2 (as we'll call her) was also at least 50, and pretty obviously transgender (MTF). She yelled at IP#1, told him to stop bothering the man who was only trying to do his job; IP#1 said "Are you a man or a woman?" IP#2 said, "That's none of your damn business! But it should be your business to know what the fare is. And if you think the fare is too high, you need to start going to community meetings at city hall."

IP#1 rolled his eyes at this. But within five minutes, IP#2 had the whole front half of the bus - including IP#1 - engaged in a discussion about community organizing, community action, and the importance of being involved in how your government runs things.

No one was tasered or sedated or dragged off in handcuffs. The methods used to subdue IP#1 were verbal and psychological, and they worked beautifully.
posted by rtha at 4:11 PM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


What the ever living fuck does that have to do with this post, paulsc?
posted by odinsdream at 4:16 PM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Parasite Unseen: "yazi rhymes with ???

Symbioid: While I wholeheartedly approve what appears to be the first steps in preparing to challenge Yazi to a freestly rap battle, I feel that I wouldn't be much of a friend if I didn't first give you notice that asking for help in coming up with your rhymes is going to make you look like a biter.
"

Chomp.
posted by symbioid at 4:23 PM on May 14, 2008


Winners Don't Use Drugs.
posted by ersatz at 4:26 PM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


But I think, having seen the whole thing, that tasering her, or sedating her, would have been justified.

Was this sarcasm? I'm having trouble believing it wasn't,
posted by Jerub at 4:38 PM on May 14, 2008


"What the ever living fuck does that have to do with this post, paulsc?"
posted by odinsdream at 7:16 PM on May 14

Nothing, with the post. But just in reply to comments like:

"Ya, this is such a good idea let's just issue every cop, sheriff, and rent a cop a pneumatic syringe and a dart gun loaded with this stuff . We could even take away their hand cuffs. ..."
posted by Mitheral at 4:27 PM on May 14

and

"... Our slovenly US officials don't perhaps need to give these drugs, but they seem to perceive these people as a bunch of threatening rabble. In some minority of cases they are threatening and perhaps bound to become troublesome and physical. ..."
posted by yazi at 1:54 PM on May 14

and

"... As our society becomes increasingly settled on chemistry as a way of making our food and dealing with life, it is no surprise that local jailers, marshals, hospital orderlies, teachers, etc etc will just get out the syringes, rather than deal with people who have less rights than others and who could become emotional and overly physical."
posted by yazi at 1:05 PM on May 14

and

"... Is there anything that the Soviet Union used to do that the GOP still has to catch up on?"
posted by digaman at 11:27 AM on May 14
posted by paulsc at 4:40 PM on May 14, 2008


"... Was this sarcasm? I'm having trouble believing it wasn't,"
posted by Jerub at 7:38 PM on May 14

Nope. Not sarcasm, at all. Suppose I was a CCW permitee, and my carry piece was secured in my car, since I was entering a government building.

Had it not been, and she'd turned towards me, and raised her arms, at the distance she was from me, with what had immediately transpired, I'd have been justified, I believe, under Florida's Castle Doctrine, in using my gun. I might have chosen not to, had it come to that, given the close circumstances. But it was not unlike a lot of convenience stores I go into, buying gas and lottery tickets.

She had no way of knowing that the security guard wasn't armed, or that bystanders weren't, either. Stupid move on her part to get physical, in that uncertainty.

I was a little miffed the security guard took more than 10 seconds to clear leather. But, whatever was in his pouch, it wasn't a Glock. Last I visited that office, in September 2005, the security people were wearing Glock 21s, and nobody was making trouble.
posted by paulsc at 4:52 PM on May 14, 2008


You lost me at "200 pound black woman," paulsc, as if this descriptor was somehow needed to truly explain the behavior of a person who didn't want to be searched at a Social Security office.

Nor does this tale have any relation to forcibly injecting someone with Haldol & Ativan to keep them compliant while deporting them. In fact, other than trying to somehow work a little pro-government 'rah-rah' into the thread, I'm not sure why you even brought it up.
posted by FormlessOne at 5:02 PM on May 14, 2008


That descriptor had nothing to do with explaining motivations, FormlessOne. I suppose it says something about your mindset, that you took it that way.

And as I explained before your comment, my initial comment was in reply to the existing thread drift.
posted by paulsc at 5:16 PM on May 14, 2008


Do you consider yourself to be part of the solution or part of the problem, paulsc?

'cause what I'm reading here is that you'd have shot an irate woman dead, instead of trying to talk to her, calm her down, resolve the situation without violence.

That violence is your first resort, instead of your last, pretty much answers my question, no?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:09 PM on May 14, 2008


You lost me at "200 pound black woman," paulsc...

I had the same reaction as you, FormlessOne.

I suppose it says something about your mindset, that you took it that way.

Yeah -- I guess so...as it does for you.
posted by ericb at 6:17 PM on May 14, 2008


paulsc, your story seems to illustrate that tasers and forced medication are, in fact, unnecessary, if security is wiling to spend a few minutes dealing with the human being in front of them.
posted by desuetude at 6:35 PM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


"... 'cause what I'm reading here is that you'd have shot an irate woman dead, instead of trying to talk to her, calm her down, resolve the situation without violence. ..."

Technically, she would have abdicated her right to my concern, at the moment she turned towards me, in any continuous movement that was reasonably threatening, given that she was immediately struggling with someone else before. If she didn't want to get shot, she didn't need to get physical.

But more important, if I'd been a law abiding CCW permittee, I wouldn't have been armed, entering a Federal office. I depended on the Feds for my safety today, and through luck, they didn't fail. The woman was mad, but not determined. They, however, had no way of knowing that, or even if she was armed or truly dangerous. In a lot of ways, as Federal officials, they kind of screwed the pooch on this situation.

The woman was pushed half way back through a doorway, and 3 men were advancing towards her, fearfully, before the situation started to de-escalate. The guard was engaged physically for more than 10 seconds, and was struggling with appartus on his belt, that he never employed, while pushing a struggling person back into an area filled with civilians.

I'm glad she walked away, but I'm even gladder, if that is possible, that everyone else did, too. I think what the supervisor did was the bravest, craziest thing I've seen someone do in a long time. I wouldn't recommend it as general procedure, because he ignored the downside, entirely. And if she'd have had a weapon in her un-inspected purse, a lot of people, including me, could have paid a helluva price for the attempt by the supervisor at a parlay.

But I'm not going to argue with success.

I am, however, firmly of the opinion that if someone is crazy enough to get physical, any shot you can take is warranted. Sedation, tasering and other non-lethal measures may be preferable to a firearm discharge, if applying them doesn't add risk to innocent parties or law enforcement personnel. And I'm just as firmly of the opinion that a person who is physically submissive, is due every protection, and every doubt, and claim of innocence that reason allows.
posted by paulsc at 6:42 PM on May 14, 2008


In a lot of ways, as Federal officials, they kind of screwed the pooch on this situation.

Yah, I guess they should have shot the bitch.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:46 PM on May 14, 2008


"Yah, I guess they should have shot the bitch."
posted by five fresh fish at 10:46 PM on May 14

The really scary thing is, they probably never had that capacity, today. If she'd have pulled a piece, the best the people at the Social Security office could have hoped for was that someone in the back office could have called the Jacksonville Police, or the Duval County Sherriff's Office, before the person in the waiting room, who might have already downed a security guard, a Social Security supervisor, and some civilians (including me), got the Social Security employees (many of whom are disabled people in power chairs, themselves).

So, I gotta ask you, if you feel like arguing the rights of those insistent on acting up, do you feel luckier with Federal shooters, or good ol' Florida boys, when it comes time to put down the ducky? How many innocents need to go first, in your calculus, before it is OK to take out a person crazy enough to get physical with a Federal agent? 2? 5? 9?

Really, how many dead people does it take, where you're concerned, to earn a bullet?
posted by paulsc at 8:12 PM on May 14, 2008


Hey, you're the one talking about opening fire.

Calm down. Smoke some weed or something before you get yourself in trouble.
posted by ryanrs at 9:43 PM on May 14, 2008


This is one of the weirdest thread derails I've ever seen.
posted by homunculus at 9:53 PM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


How many innocents need to go first, in your calculus, before it is OK to take out a person crazy enough to get physical with a Federal agent? 2? 5? 9?

Really, how many dead people does it take, where you're concerned, to earn a bullet?


Milo: I understand my opponent supports the 55 miles per hour speed limit on our highways.

Opus: Saves 50,000 lives per year. I'm definitely in favor of saving lives!

Milo: Then maybe my opponent would like to save another 30,000 lives per year by reducing the speed limit to 45.

Opus: 45?

Milo: Or perhaps save another 25,000 lives by reducing the speed limit to 35!

Opus: Well, 35 is pretty slow.

Milo: Apparently my opponent would send 55,000 men women and children to fiery mangled deaths so he can zip along to his manicurist at 55!

Opus: I DON'T HAVE A MANICURIST!

Milo: He probably doesn't. Most mass murderers don't. Hitler didn't.
posted by BinGregory at 10:38 PM on May 14, 2008 [4 favorites]


If she didn't want to get shot, she didn't need to get physical.

People without a basic understanding of human psychology, and enough compassion to care to consult that knowledge, should not be in a position to deal in force outside of a military context.

You, sir, are part of the problem, whether you realize it or not.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:16 PM on May 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


That a woman who is angry morphs in your mind into a BLOODCRAZED PSYCHOTIC MURDEROUS MONSTER WHO COULDA SHOT US ALLLLLLL!!!!!! says more about you than her, paulsc.

The supervisor of the office did the right thing, a thing that ought to be normal, expected behavior. Your expectation seems to be that the appropriate response to a threat is to immediately react with such overwhelmingly greater force as to make that threat absolutely impossible to carry out. That's insane.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 11:17 PM on May 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


Policemen have been dealing with people resisting being moved (or searched) for hundreds of years. For most of that time, they did it without using tasers or cattle prods or injections. They almost never had to shoot a resisting person. Perhaps the security staff in our modern age of enlightenment could somehow obtain the knowledge that allowed their predecessors to perform these feats.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:24 AM on May 15, 2008


How many innocents need to go first, in your calculus, before it is OK to take out a person crazy enough to get physical with a Federal agent? 2? 5? 9?

Obviously,it goes without saying that no one wants to see people die while some crazy goes mental and starts shooting. I also think that pretty much anyone would have to be crazy to attempt to enter a government building and balk at the idea of being searched.

But the truth is the only way that I can envision life, for me, being livable is by living in a state of mind that believes that basically no one is out to get me.

Even if it occasionally hurts me in the long run, I just feel like I'm better off giving the benefit of the doubt to everyone.

That being said, if there was an altercation like that I would get the hell away from it.

Also, I'm guessing that the person really out there to kill is going to be the one who goes through the detector quietly and politely, and then goes insane once in a nicely dense area. Maybe that's a stereotype though. And maybe it's just because the news media only reports it when the police get it "wrong", but I've heard enough stories about black people or foreigners being shot while removing their wallets from their pocket that makes me wonder whether it might not be better to delay pulling a piece every once and a while.
posted by Deathalicious at 4:33 AM on May 15, 2008


NOW we see the violence inherent in the system!
posted by WalterMitty at 5:19 AM on May 15, 2008


Perhaps the security staff in our modern age of enlightenment could somehow obtain the knowledge that allowed their predecessors to perform these feats.

I can't say much here. I just can't, though I certainly would like to. I think Kirth is on the right track here. Combine laziness, bureacratic malaise, understaffed/overworked/underpaid workers and performance metrics that must be met at all cost with a top-down policy pushing more more more detention and removals and voila: disaster!
posted by Pollomacho at 6:09 AM on May 15, 2008


paulsc writes "The really scary thing is, they probably never had that capacity [ability to discharge firearms], today."

I don't find that scary at all. Practically no security guards around here carry firearms. The notable exception being some armoured truck guards.
posted by Mitheral at 7:14 AM on May 15, 2008


homunculus: This is one of the weirdest thread derails I've ever seen.

This reminds me of the time when my friend was standing in a long line to use the bathroom at a loft party concert and my girlfriend and I were keeping her company. This gangly, reed thin, sky high 17 year old tried to cut in line, sky high in that he nearly scraped 7 feet and in the sense that he was hopped up on something or other. We told him that he needed to get to the back of the line. He didn’t. He slurred his case to us and tried repeatedly to make his way to the bathroom door but we told him he shouldn’t. He dangled his long frame into our personal space, and was vaguely threatening to my friend, who’s about five foot three. Now, my friend can only take a certain amount of shit before she starts hitting people and as she’s someone who’s hoisted sheep around with some regularity her punches tend to do a lot of damage. I noticed that she was at the end of her tether so I inserted myself between my friend and the weaving, inebriated high-schooler. During the minute or so it took me to persuade my friend not to punch the guy in the nuts, my girlfriend tries to explain to the 17 year old that, since he’s a boy and therefore attached to a penis, he can go outside to relieve the pressure in his bladder, to which the boy responds by biting my girlfriend on the neck, hard, and wandered off. Not hard enough to draw blood, but pretty hard. Neither my friend or I noticed, as we were facing away from them. Needless to say, when my girlfriend told us we were all for going after him and giving him whatfor, but my girlfriend felt that drugged out 17 year olds should be given leeway and not get beat up for their sins.

The parallels are clear.
posted by Kattullus at 8:40 AM on May 15, 2008


Bad shit happens, who cares? (seriously though, surely THIS will be the thing that will arise the masses... oh I give up.)
posted by Vindaloo at 8:42 AM on May 15, 2008


That a woman who is angry morphs in your mind into a BLOODCRAZED PSYCHOTIC MURDEROUS MONSTER WHO COULDA SHOT US ALLLLLLL!!!!!! says more about you than her, paulsc.
Well, to be fair, she was black.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:58 AM on May 15, 2008


I'll take this drug cocktail any day over restraints. It is clear from his description that he was resisting. The dynamics of flight require predictability, sedation - supervised by a trained professional - is quite safe. Further, he is a felon, he deserved to be deported. I lean to the left but I deal with people like this routinely and his story reeks of BS. However, it would be nice to see the flow sheet with vital signs Q15 minutes - note that the Cogentin is Q24 hours. Haldol and Ativan have different mechanisms of action and, as noted in the story, the half life of Ativan is markedly short. Not a terrible combo, you or I would simply go to sleep.
posted by rotifer at 9:09 AM on May 15, 2008


Well, to be fair, she was black.

Yeah, but shouldn't the Asian security guard's natural karate abilities have balanced out the situation?
posted by Pollomacho at 9:11 AM on May 15, 2008


rotifer, which of the over 250 people are you talking about? Was it this one?
Another detainee was "dragged down the aisle in handcuffs, semi-comatose," according to an airline crew member's written account.
No, I guess not - handcuffs. Where do you come up with the idea that the injections are intsead of restraints?

Thanks for all the swell insider drug-talk though.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:44 AM on May 15, 2008


It was clear I was talking about this case. No doubt he was restrained in addition to the sedation, my error.
posted by rotifer at 9:56 AM on May 15, 2008


Kattallus, I admire your restraint. That boy's future descendants will owe you a great debt for saving their ancestor's testicles from your friend's wrath.
posted by homunculus at 10:56 AM on May 15, 2008


Kattullus. Oops.
posted by homunculus at 11:00 AM on May 15, 2008


I just flew across the Atlantic and back. "The Bucket List", "Mad Money", "PS I Love You", "The Golden Compass". I hope I never meet the person who selects in flight movies because I might do something rash.
posted by srboisvert at 5:36 AM on May 19, 2008


« Older If hydrogen-cell cars are no good, how about hydro...  |  Ladies, before you go searchin... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments