A fine Michigan lawyer named Arnold Reed has filed a $20,000,000 lawsuit on behalf of the family of a man who was, apparently, beaten to death by suburban Detroit area police officers.
I am writing about this, not to report on the filing of the average police misconduct case, but to alert the public about a tragic mistake made by the police, in this case. Here, our victim, Ernest Griglin, was an insulin dependent diabetic who wore an insulin pump on his waistband. Police may have mistaken the pump for a weapon. Police had followed this 59 year old disabled navy veteran for several miles, then pulled him over on suspicion of drunk driving. The cops say he resisted; they wrestled him to the ground and sprayed him with pepper spray and tear gas.
Afterward, officers noticed that the ‘weapon’ was, in fact, an insulin pump. The breath test they administered showed no alcohol consumption. Treatment at several local hospitals could not prevent Mr. Griglen’s ultimate death.
Insulin dependent diabetes is a relatively common condition. If its symptoms can immitate drunkeness, police officers must ask questions and exercise good judgment before assuming criminal behavior or resisting arrest. They can certainly make inquiry before resorting to taking someone down and spraying him with dangerous chemicals. Likewise, citizens must advise officers of medical conditions that might be misinterpreted. They should do this the minute they are pulled over.
Lawsuit Financial believes that education, on both sides of this tragedy, could have prevented it and must prevent future incidents. If you know a cop, share this with him/her. If you know someone who has a condition that might be subject to this type of misinterpretation, share this with him/her, as well. Maybe, together, we can prevent another tragedy. I wish Arnold, and all of you, good luck in your pursuit of justice for your clients. Lawsuit Financial exists to help you achieve better results in your litigation; call us, toll free, 1-877-377-SUIT to find out how we can do this for you and your clients.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.