Police in Iowa chased a man in a car, forcing him to stop, then busting out his windows – and even discharging their gun – after they spotted him in the driver’s seat with a “faraway stare.”
It turns out, the man was having a medical episode, possibly related to diabetes, but that made no difference to the cops because they are only trained to hurt, not help.
The incident was captured on a police dash cam. The discharge of the gun was accidental, the bullet going through the passenger’s door. Luckily, nobody was injured.
And no charges were filed against the driver, Steven Shulte, 24, because it was a medical condition that caused him to drive recklessly, although they wouldn’t state the actual condition.
But judging by previous incidents involving cops and drivers, it was most likely related to diabetes.
In 2012, the Nevada Highway Patrol dished out more than $200,000 to man they beat after a pursuit, only to realize he had gone into diabetic shock.
The incident was caught by the dash cam of a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper present during the incident, which began as a chase in the early morning hours of Oct. 29, 2010. Police suspected the man was driving drunk.
It was not clear why the man led police on a chase.
The video showed that once the car was pulled over, police officers swarmed the driver and began kicking him.
“Stop resisting motherf****r. Stop resisting motherf****r,” an officer yelled as the man lay on the ground.
However, the man was not drunk – he was suffering a diabetic episode. Insulin shock can mimic the symptoms of intoxication.
“They should have been aware of that,” Moody told ABC 13. “They should have been trained on how to handle that and I think they made some assumptions that were wrong.”
Later in the video, the officers appeared to realize the man wasn’t drunk and called for medical help.
“We found some insulin in his pocket,” said an officer. “Tell them to expedite. He’s semi-conscious.”
The $158,000 settlement was in addition to a $99,000 settlement for the man’s wife and $35,000 from the state of Nevada for civil rights violations.
Earlier this year in Texas, San Antonio police repeatedly punched a 70-year-old man who was slumped at the steering wheel of his car who was also having a diabetic episode.
The officers arrived to find Mathieu slumped over the steering wheel, and told him three times to step out of the vehicle. Mathieu, who says he was not conscious at this point, refused to get out of the car and a struggle began.
The officer punched Mathieu several times to get him to comply. In the officer’s report, he wrote that he struck Mathieu because he thought he was reaching for the car shifter to drive off. The officer said he feared the car might injure him or hit other vehicles, so he continued to punch Mathieu in the head.
After about 30 seconds, the two officers pulled Mathieu out onto the roadway. But the struggle continued as they try to turn him over. During the incident, Mathieu can be heard, crying out as officers threatened to tase him. The officers finally gain control over Mathieu, just out of view of the camera, and it’s clear they believe they are dealing with a person who is under the influence of alcohol.
Here is the exchange that then ensued between the officer and Mathieu:
Officer: Sir, how much have you had to drink tonight?
Officer: What’s going on with you today?
Mathieu: Nothing. Officer: Why were you sleeping behind the wheel, sir? And when we asked you to get out you didn’t get out. Why?
It’s not until about one minute later — a full five minutes after police arrived. that someone asked Mathieu if he was a diabetic.
Same thing happened in New Jersey in 2010, according to the Star-Ledger:
One November night two years ago, State Police found Daniel Fried slumped behind the wheel of his van along Route 72 in Burlington County. He stared forward, eyelids drooping. He was incoherent, slurred his words and seemed to be falling asleep.
He may have looked drunk or like he was on drugs, but doctors say these are classic symptoms of diabetic shock. Paramedics found Fried’s blood sugar was so low he could have suffered a coma, seized or died, according to State Police records.
But two troopers took his erratic behavior for belligerence. They wrestled him down, hit him with a baton and arrested him, their reports said. The struggle was captured by a microphone on one of the troopers, and the recording was obtained by The Star-Ledger.
On the tape, Fried can be heard screaming and telling troopers they are hurting his arm, while they yell at him to stop resisting. Fried said in court records he suffered cuts, bruises and a broken wrist, and despite repeated requests, troopers refused to fetch the fruit punch he kept in his van.
“I was stuck somewhere between angry, frustrated and embarrassed,” Fried told The Star-Ledger in an interview.
The rate of diabetes in this country is soaring, according to the American Diabetes Association, but police appear to be ill-trained to recognize citizens experiencing diabetic shock, resorting to the usual “comply or die” violence that has become the norm these days.
It probably won’t be long until they kill a diabetic in the name of safety.