Patterico's Pontifications

4/14/2020

This Should Not Be: Doctor Handcuffed In Front Of His House While Getting Ready To Help The Homeless

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:33 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Assuming the worst – even during a pandemic:

An African American doctor, who has been battling the coronavirus pandemic in his hospital and on the streets of Miami, was detained and handcuffed in front of his own home by a police sergeant as he loaded up his van with supplies he says he planned to take to the homeless.

Dr. Armen Henderson, an internal medicine physician at the University of Miami Health System, said his biggest concern about the up-close encounter was that the Miami-Dade police sergeant was not wearing a protective mask when Henderson says the sergeant got “all up in my face,” Henderson told ABC News on Sunday.

The incident occurred on Friday, just three days after Miami-Dade Police Chief Jorge Colina announced that at least six of his officers had tested positive for the coronavirus and another 125 had been quarantined pending test results. In a video statement, Colina pleaded with the public to help protect his officers, saying, “Please, stay inside, adhere to social distancing, wear a mask or a cloth face covering and be responsible. We’re here for you. Please do your part for us.”

Henderson, 34, said obviously the sergeant who handcuffed him didn’t get the chief’s message.

“He put me at risk,” Henderson said. “Now I feel like I should get tested, honestly. Most likely I will because he definitely was spitting in my face. I could feel it while he was yelling at me.”

It wasn’t enough to handcuff Dr. Henderson, or put him at risk by being unncessarily close to him (without a mask), but after Henderson’s wife, who was inside their home with their two small children, provided I.D. to the officer, he simply got in his car and drove off without so much as an apology.

Chief Colina tried to justify his officer’s behavior add context to the situation:

“We have had a litany of complaints pertaining to illegal dumping. The commissioner from that area has received many complaints as well from the constituents,” Colina said “There is a cargo van that’s parked in front of that home where there appears to be trash that’s being offloaded. That is the genesis of the stop. Now, what’s happened after that, what’s being discussed, the actions taken, etcetera … all that needs to be investigated and it will be investigated.”

Here is Dr. Henderson’s recap of the incident:

“He just said, ‘Are you littering over here?’ Do you live here? Do you work here?’ And I was like, ‘Yes, I live here. This is where we put our bulky trash and the city comes to pick it up every week at this same place,” Henderson said….He said the incident occurred about 11:30 a.m., a half-hour before he was to meet the homeless outreach group he works with to distribute supplies in downtown Miami…He said that when he began to walk away from the sergeant, the encounter quickly escalated…”I’m like, ‘OK, thank you officer.’ And then I turned around to get back to what I was doing,” Henderson said. ”I guess he must have thought that I had disrespected him or something like that. He jumped out of the car and started yelling, ‘You call me sergeant when I’m talking to you, and blah, blah, blah. And, you know what, give me your I.D.”’…Henderson said that when he told the sergeant he didn’t have his identification on him, the sergeant pulled out his handcuffs, placed them on Henderson and walked the doctor to the front of his squad car. Henderson said he yelled out to his wife, who was inside their home with their two young children, to come out with his I.D…When Henderson’s wife showed the I.D. to the sergeant, the sergeant removed the handcuffs and released Henderson…”He didn’t apologize. He just got in his car and drove away,” Henderson said.

[Ed. Given Dr. Henderson’s account, I’m guessing that the police officer really had to work hard to resist throwing in a “boy” at the end his ‘You call me sergeant when I’m talking to you…’ demand.]

It’s notable that, in the video below, Dr. Henderson is more focused on the increased risk of the homeless population – and thereby, the public at large – than the incident itself. While he was certainly (and rightfully) upset over what happened, his priority is caring for people living on the streets. In a county that has approximately 7,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, Dr. Henderson’s mission is to provide COVID-19 testing, food, and blankets to the homeless:

Before the incident above took place, the Miami Herald profiled Dr. Henderson and his efforts on behalf of the homeless population:

“This is clearly an act of civil disobedience,” Henderson had told a group of volunteers wearing masks and gloves gathered outside a van filled with burgers from Wendy’s, hand sanitizer wipes, 75 camping tents and 20 test kits. He convened the volunteers from various community groups in defiance of countywide orders to stay off the streets because he felt it was necessary to feed, educate, shelter and test the homeless as much as they could.

“I feel this is essential to protecting the public’s health,” Henderson said.

The doctor partnered with The Smile Trust, Dream Defenders and a nonprofit called Showering Love to bring a host of services to people experiencing homelessness in Overtown. Members of the Overtown Beautification Team, employed by the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, assisted with distributing the camping tents.

More Dr. Hendersons, please.

I’m going to continue to follow this story and see if any disciplinary action is taken. At the very, very least, the officer should be compelled to make a public apology to Dr. Henderson and his wife.

–Dana

40 Responses to “This Should Not Be: Doctor Handcuffed In Front Of His House While Getting Ready To Help The Homeless”

  1. Does everybody in Miami-Dade County who is suspected of offloading trash onto the parkway get handcuffed if their I.D. is inside their home, which is just mere steps away?? Is it mandatory in the county to carry I.D. even when an individuals is in their own front yard??

    Dana (0feb77)

  2. and putin smiled

    mg (8cbc69)

  3. Nah, we are not turning into a police state.

    (/sarcasm)

    Bored Lawyer (56c962)

  4. Nah, we are not turning into a police state.

    (/sarcasm)

    Bored Lawyer (56c962) — 4/14/2020 @ 12:53 pm

    BLM would tell you that this isn’t an atypical interaction.

    Time123 (ae9d89)

  5. People dropping off their own trash in someone else’s dumpster or trash can is a known thing here in SFla.

    But the authorities in Miami can be rear orifices, if you know what I mean. It’s even possible Henderson was targeted because of his work with the homeless.

    Kishnevi (f12dcb)

  6. BLM would tell you that this isn’t an atypical interaction

    At my old job, in Dade County, more than one of my coworkers were stopped over the years for what could reasonably be called DWB.

    Kishnevi (f12dcb)

  7. Anyone want to bet on whether this would have happened to a white doctor, or whether inappropriate assumptions the officer made based solely on the doctor’s race, were involved in the outcome?

    aphrael (7962af)

  8. Kishnevi,

    So was Dr. Henderson arrested for doctoring while black (DWB)?

    Dana (0feb77)

  9. This is terrible. Thank goodness the doctor wasn’t roughed up. He was wise not to resist, despite the officer’s awful behavior.

    CNN reports on another ER doctor treating Covid-19 patients who lost custody of her daughter as a result:

    An ER doctor loses custody of daughter because of coronavirus fears

    Dave (1bb933)

  10. Dana @8
    It’s a possibility that can’t be ruled out until we know more about the incident,

    Kishnevi (f12dcb)

  11. LEOs are a cross-section of our people. Some are jerks. Some are criminals.

    I applaud the doc for his act of civil disobedience, which he did as it is supposed to be done…out in the open, with no special pleading.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  12. When you have state Reichsstatthalter acting like petty dictators, when you see people put under what amounts to house arrest without any due process of law, when you see Governor Gina Riamondo (NSDAP-RI) ordering her Staatspolizia to stop all cars with New York license plates and send the National Guard to question coastal residents as to their recent travel, when Reichsstatthalter Andy Beshear (NSDAP-KY) having the Sate Police taking pictures of churchgoers license plates on Easter Sunday, and the majority of the sheeple nodding their heads approvingly, what else can be expected?

    The Dana in Kentucky (a2adc1)

  13. “When you have state Reichsstatthalter acting like petty dictators”

    Funny that this happened in Florida, which isn’t either of the states you called out in your diatribe.

    Davethulhu (55c763)

  14. Obvious question: was the police officer wearing a body cam?

    The Dana in Kentucky (a2adc1)

  15. The Geheime Staatspolizei don’t wear bodycams, do they?

    Dave (1bb933)

  16. Mr Thulhu wrote:

    Funny that this happened in Florida, which isn’t either of the states you called out in your diatribe.

    While I noted, specifically, incidents by governors from the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei Democratic Party, I have also noted that Sadly, it isn’t just the Democrats who are willing to trample on your civil rights on my own poor site.

    The Dana in Kentucky (a2adc1)

  17. Dave sarcastically asked:

    The Geheime Staatspolizei don’t wear bodycams, do they?

    Normalerweise nicht.

    The Dana in Kentucky (a2adc1)

  18. It is unsurprising that the Police Chief tried to put some context on the officer’s actions, because we expect chiefs of police to have their officers’ backs. If they don’t do that, they lose the support of the police officers under their commands. But if this turns out to be as advertised, while the sergeant in question is responsible for his actions, the authoritarian and unconstitutional actions of state governors and city mayors have greatly contributed to the type of police state atmosphere which leads to things like this.

    The Dana in Kentucky (a2adc1)

  19. …what else can be expected?

    We can expect our LEOs to conduct themselves properly AND we can expect our citizens to not set their hair on fire…even in German.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  20. 14,

    They are required to wear body cams, but whether this particular officer was wearing one, has not been mentioned in any reports I’ve read.

    Dana (0feb77)

  21. Some people are actually cheering on these governors going overboard on restrictions.

    Show the photo of inner-city blacks lining up to buy lottery tickets in MI while their deranged governor stops people from going to the garden centers of stores THAT ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

    Madness.
    _

    harkin (e208fd)

  22. Cops are just the biggest gang in town. At least my local drug dealers don’t make me pay their salaries.

    john (cd2753)

  23. Cops are just the biggest gang in town. At least my local drug dealers don’t make me pay their salaries.

    ChapStick® for the Win…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  24. Who was videoing? Who wrote the script and who directed? Not much action, honestly, and the dialog is not any better.
    “Brutally hurt?”
    “Shot?”
    And the less said about the musical score, the better.

    nk (1d9030)

  25. Well, Dana you certainly are superior that “Racist” Sargent aren’t you? I mean, you mind-readed him, and are certain – based on nothing – that he wanted to call the good doctor “Boy”. Funny, we don’t know who the Sargent is, do we? What if he’s black? And we don’t have his side of the encounter, do we? And the Doctor has already stated he will behave the laws he likes and ignore those he doesn’t.

    If the good Doctor wants to help the homeless, I think he should do what we all should do, and that is obey the law, and work within it. I get suspicious of self-righteous people who feel they can pick and choose what laws to break.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  26. RC,
    Can you show where the doctor said he would break the law?

    Time123 (53ef45)

  27. No, the sergeant is not black. There’s a video. Set to music. With production values. A black sergeant would not be in character in a Grievance Monger-Mini X Production in cooperation with Race Card Films.

    nk (1d9030)

  28. I read Avenatti is out and looking for work. 1 800 lawyer up.

    mg (8cbc69)

  29. They already have S. Lee Meritt Esquire. (By “they” I mean the “they” and not necessarily Mr. and Mrs. Doctor.)

    nk (1d9030)

  30. You know, nk, when I was writing the post, I periodically thought I should throw in an “alleged” or “giving Henderson the benefit of the doubt,” or some condition because I am aware that videos don’t tell the whole picture, and there was an uneveness to it. But, because Henderson did not appear physically aggressive in any way, and appeared compliant and non-resistant, I was less inclined toward healthy cynicism. Also, after hearing him speak, and watching him on the video, I didnt notice any anger there either. BUT… In carefully re-watching the video a number of times, and after having cooled down from being angered by what happened, I noticed that at the :27 mark, Henderson is handcuffed and being led across the street to the officer’s car. At the :34 mark, Henderson is seen standing in front of the cruiser with his hands on his hips – obviously not cuffed – as his wife is handing his I.D. to the cop, who has walked back toward the house. Seconds later, Henderson is seen following the officer across the street. Henderson claimed in his re-count of the event that the officer was in his face yelling at him, hence his concern for possible infection. However, that is not seen in the video. Clearly, parts of his account are missing from the recording, and now I’m curious as to why that’s so. It doesn’t necessarily make me doubt his account, but I would, nonetheless, like to see what happened in its entirety.

    Dana (0feb77)

  31. Then there must be some editing. I am pretty sure that most people named Houdini, it would take more than 7 seconds to get out of a pair of handcuffs even if the police were helping him.

    Kishnevi (779a41)

  32. @31, Dana, I’m always surprised at how calm people expect the unjustly accused to be. You’re in front of your house getting ready to go to charity work. The police come. They’re not exactly polite. You end up in cuffs.

    In this scenario how docile would you be?
    I like to think I’d be perfectly calm, but this weekend I got pissed at a miter saw that wouldn’t cut the right angle…so maybe not.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  33. Mr 123 wrote:

    I like to think I’d be perfectly calm, but this weekend I got pissed at a miter saw that wouldn’t cut the right angle…so maybe not.

    A less polite person than I am would remind one of the old saw, “It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools,” but I shan’t do that. :)

    By the way, I’m trying to find a cast iron extension wing for a Ridgid TS3650 to mount on my R4512 table saw, so if you happen to know where one is available . . . .

    The Dana in Kentucky (a2adc1)

  34. Why do people refuse to be somewhat skeptical of these “And then the policeman said this…” accounts. I’m skeptical because of one reason: Lawsuits. With a big payout. That’s not to say, these things don’t happen. They do. But I prefer not to jump to conclusions.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  35. I don’t mind jumping to conclusions, it’s the only exercise I get these days, and like I more than implied above the whole thing looks “produced” to me.

    nk (1d9030)

  36. Other Dana, I was cutting a brace at 45 degrees and the cut was getting wider as it went along. I know the board wasn’t moving (I marked it and clamped it to check) but it just wouldn’t work!!!!!

    And now is not a great time to buy used tools or exercise equipment.

    Time123 (d1bf33)

  37. Why do people refuse to be somewhat skeptical of these “And then the policeman said this…” accounts. I’m skeptical because of one reason: Lawsuits. With a big payout. That’s not to say, these things don’t happen. They do. But I prefer not to jump to conclusions.

    rcocean (1a839e) — 4/14/2020 @ 7:49 pm

    You have a video. You have a statement from one party. That person is a MD who spends their free time giving medicine to the poor. So they have at least some credibility, depending on how you feel about people how try to heal the poor. You have some facts not in dispute; he was in front of his home, he was not alleged to be doing anything illegal. I’m open to changing my mind if new info is available but right now it seems like a pretty easy call.

    Time123 (d1bf33)

  38. Mr 123 wrote:

    Other Dana, I was cutting a brace at 45 degrees and the cut was getting wider as it went along. I know the board wasn’t moving (I marked it and clamped it to check) but it just wouldn’t work!!!!!

    The cut was getting wider? I am taking this to mean the saw kerf was spreading wider, and this can only mean two things: your blade was loose on the arbor and wobbling, or there was enough tension in the wood that the board was expanding as it was released.

    And now is not a great time to buy used tools or exercise equipment.

    It absotively, posilutely is a great time: sellers are a bit desperate. But the piece for which I am looking is a piece of cast iron: unless it is cracked or deformed, it can’t be bad.

    The Dana in Kentucky (a2adc1)

  39. In other medical news (n.b. not yet peer-reviewed):

    French study finds hydroxychloroquine doesn’t help patients with coronavirus

    In the French study, doctors looked back at medical records for 181 patients with Covid-19 who had pneumonia and required supplemental oxygen. About half had taken hydroxychloroquine within 48 hours of being admitted to the hospital, and the other half had not.

    The doctors followed the patients and found there was no statistically significant difference in the death rates of the two groups, or their chances of being admitted to the intensive care unit.

    The study also raised important safety concerns about hydroxychloroquine.

    In the study, eight patients who took the drug developed abnormal heart rhythms and had to stop taking it.

    Abnormal heart rhythms are a known side effect of hydroxychloroquine, which has been used for decades to treat patients with diseases such as malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

    Dave (1bb933)


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