Man having epileptic siezure gets tazered, beaten and committed.

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Man having epileptic siezure gets tazered, beaten and committed.

How ignorant can you get? There really needs to be police training for situations like this

The case in Michigan involved Daniel Beloungea, who was taking a daily walk in his neighborhood when he experienced a complex partial seizure, which left him in a state of semi-consciousness.

Complex partial seizures are associated with repetitive involuntary movements, sometimes for up to 30 minutes, with post-seizure disorientation.

A person passing by noticed Mr. Beloungea acting erratically and called police to report his behavior. When officers arrived on the scene, they apparently assumed that his failure to respond to their questions and his erratic involuntary movements amounted to resistance, and failed to recognize the obvious signs of a seizure.

Furthermore, they failed to inspect the medical alert bracelet he was wearing, which indicates clearly that he has epilepsy.

According to police reports, when Mr. Beloungea was unresponsive to police direction, the bag he was carrying was kicked by police from his hand, and when he flailed his arms involuntarily, he was tasered, sending 50,000 volts of electricity through his body (risking serious injury or death); hit with a police baton; threatened at gunpoint; and handcuffed behind his back.

(The handcuffing itself is dangerous for persons experiencing a seizure, as it can lead to further seizure-related agitation and struggling, possibly causing asphyxiation or even cardiac arrest.)

He was then prosecuted for assaulting police officers and disorderly conduct, notwithstanding considerable evidence, including the state’s own mental health evaluation, confirming that his actions were involuntary and solely the product of a seizure.

Then, apparently because of a gap in Michigan law, Mr. Beloungea was forced to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, rather than being permitted to submit evidence that he lacked the mental and physical capacity to commit the crimes for which he was charged.

Because state law requires that all persons who have been adjudicated not guilty by reason of insanity be committed for a mental health evaluation, a man who posed no risk to anyone was forced to languish in a penal institution housing violent criminal offenders (where he experienced at least two subsequent seizures).

He was discharged from the psychiatric facility, on September 28, 2006, after a stay of more than three weeks.

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By netchicken: posted on 21-11-2006

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