Dash cam footage of the arrest of Barbara Dawson, who died after she was kicked out of a Florida hospital, has been released to the public, ABC News reports.
Dawson’s encounter with the unidentified Blountstown County police officer happened outside of a squad car on Dec. 21, but their conversation can be heard on camera.
The 57-year-old died due to a blood clot in her lungs. Before she collapsed, she was discharged from Calhoun-Liberty Hospital for “disorderly conduct and trespassing.” Dawson insisted she needed more help after arriving at the hospital the previous evening for abdominal pain.
During the recording of Dawson’s final moments, she is heard pleading with the officer for medical assistance. The officer informed Dawson she would have to go to another hospital for help.
Calhoun-Liberty CEO Ruth Attaway released a statement saying the hospital will remain transparent and open to an investigation into their actions that evening.
ABC News reports:
“First, we continue to grieve the loss of a patient and a member of the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Ms. Dawson as well as with our community,” Attaway said.
“Our primary objective in this situation is to remain transparent and to welcome investigation from authorities. We have already welcomed reviews and investigations from the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as well as the Department of Health. To the fullest extent permitted by state and federal law, we will continue to be transparent and forthcoming with our community and the public.”
The Blountstown Police Department also came to the defense of its officer, who claimed he thought Dawson was faking her injuries to get out of the arrest. Police Chief Mark Mallory said the officer acted accordingly and wasn’t a “medically trained professional.”
Police officers are instructed to give CPR to those who aren’t breathing. Because Dawson was speaking to him before she passed out, he didn’t issue the technique.
Via ABC News:
He added that though “the officer may have suspected that Ms. Dawson was intentionally noncompliant, he nonetheless fully executed his duty and responsibility, requesting that medical professionals continue to verify Ms. Dawson’s health status, even after the medical professionals initially assessed and evaluated Ms. Dawson following her collapse.”
“In Ms. Dawson’s case, the responding officer acted appropriately, by audio recording of the events as they transpired on December 21, 2015, the officer sought medical professionals that responded to Ms. Dawson in the Calhoun-Liberty Hospital parking lot included the following: registered nurses, a paramedic, and a doctor,” Mallory added. “Upon the arrival of the various medical professionals, the officer deferred to the professional training and expertise of the summoned medical professionals to evaluate and [assess] Ms. Dawson’s need for medical intervention.”
“Regardless, Ms. Dawson’s passing is a loss felt by our community, and our thoughts and prayers remain with her family and friends during this time,” Mallory said.
Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Martha Smith-Dixon, Dawson’s aunt, is hoping justice will be served. Benjamin Crump and Daryl Parks, who are representing Dawson’s family, have not yet filed a lawsuit. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration is also investigating whether the hospital violated any practices during the fatal incident.
SOURCE: ABC News | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform