Mentally ill citizens of the United States are victims in over 50 percent of police violence incidences. In addition, many mentally ill people are brutalized and murdered behind bars and in hospitals, where it is substantially easier to hide the abuses of power. Occasionally, news about extreme brutality of mentally ill inmates manages to reach the public despite cover-ups: Jerome Murdough was baked to death in Riker's Island Jail; Darrin Rainey was scalded to death in a Dade Correctional Facility's shower; Larry Neal was murdered after 18 days of secret arrest in Memphis; James Embry was starved to death in a Kentucky prison; Carlos Umana starved to death in a Utah jail; and Kathia Casseus, 16, a retarded child, was put on birth control, presumably to prevent pregnancy from prison rapes, and died from side effects caused by her Ortho patch. These are only a few examples of inmate murders that happen continuously.
Abuses to psychiatric hospital inpatients are also notorious. For example, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution identified at least 115 patients from Georgia's state psychiatric hospitals who died under suspicious circumstances between 2002 and 2006. See an excerpt from the report below:
"The newspaper assembled a list of questionable deaths by examining state and federal inspection reports, a database of vital records, autopsies, medical files, court papers, state insurance claims and other documents. This study revealed a pattern of neglect, abuse and poor medical care in the seven state hospitals, as well as a lack of public accountability for patient deaths."
Government employees such as police officers, prison and jail guards, and hospital personnel are ordinarily excused from prosecution for personal injuries and homicides in the United States. Such abuses are less likely to be investigated and lead to prosecution and convictions than dogs' murders. Until now, victims or their families could sue for damages when institutionalized people were injured or killed. Lawsuits are the only barrier to many more such deaths, because so few result in criminal prosecution. Recently, New York claimed the right to be impervious to lawsuits for injuries and deaths of persons who use Medicaid insurance and are murdered in State health care facilities.
Rasheen Rose was killed in Fineson Developmental Center in Queens on August 6, 2012. According to his sister, Rasheen Rose was crushed to death when "at least three staff threw Rose to the ground and one sat on him while other staff stood by." Although the coroner ruled Rose's death a homicide, no criminal complaints were filed to date against his killers. A year after his sister filed a wrongful death lawsuit, New York billed Rose's estate for a $12 million reimbursement for his ten years of treatment using Medicaid insurance. That invoice may exceed the amount of damages recovered from Rose's wrongful death lawsuit and eliminate New York's need to pay anything for his homicide. If you think the remedy would be to raise the amount of plaintiffs' demands for wrongful death lawsuits, please consider that some states have capped the amount of recovery that is possible for personal injury lawsuits.
If the State escapes legal ramifications in the form of criminal prosecution and lawsuits, all institutionalized people are at greater risk for brutality and murder, including elderly people and children in State care homes as well as patients in psychiatric and medical hospitals. Veterans have no right to sue for malpractice in V.A. hospitals, and many of them are neglected, abused, and killed. If personal injury lawsuits will be reduced by the amount the government spent on people's health care and containment over the years, jails and prisons will be free to murder inmates, hospitals are free to murder inpatients and outpatients like the murders at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans during Katrina. Nobody served a day in jail for killing patients. Nursing homes and orphanages are free to rape and murder their residents throughout America without any fear of reprisal if Medicaid must first be reimbursed for their care.
Rasheen Rose was a mentally ill black man who was murdered by hospital personnel in New York. His homicide is intended to go without any accountability in criminal or civil actions, since New York sued for recovery of monies spent providing Medicaid. Please consider this: Medicaid is government insurance like Obamacare is.
Since the entire nation is to be government-insured under the Affordable Care Act, this new threat to safety (brutality and murders of patients without financial accountability) also can be applied to you and your family.
According to spokeswoman Jennifer O'Sullivan, the State of New York was following federal Medicaid obligations in seeking reimbursement from the estate of Rasheen Rose. Will the federal government also assign itself the right to recover government funds used to treat people under Obamacare? What about government funds used to incarcerate inmates who are murdered by corrections officers? Will the federal government also assign itself the right to recover student loans and interest fees from the estates of students murdered by police officers like Robert Cameron Redus, a Texas honors student who was fatally shot in his back by police officer Christopher Carter in December 2013? (The officer was not prosecuted and remains on the job to possibly kill other students who get belligerent with him).
To burden the estates of indigent Medicaid patients with the necessity to share wrongful death settlements with their murderers out of indebtedness to the Government constitutes classism and Nazism that must not be tolerated in this country. Wealth does not really trickle down, but oppression rises like heat. Almost NO government employees are held criminally responsible for brutality and murders of citizens, whether their victims are black like Rasheen Rose and Larry Neal or white like Robert Redus and Kelly Thomas. For the safety of all Americans, I urge you to demand that Rose's sister be awarded the entire amount of her lawsuit's demand for Rose's homicide without any deduction for Medicaid reimbursement. Failure to do so could eventually excuse government employees' brutality and murders of people who receive government benefits (including student loans) as well as inmates incarcerated at government expense and everyone who uses government health care insurance -- INCLUDING YOU.
Damage Caps and Other Limits on Personal Injury Compensation
Wrongful Death of Larry Neal.com
NY Claims the Right to Kill Black Patients
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill
Dog Justice for Mentally Ill
What happened to Larry Neal?