August 9, 2013

Taking Care of Veterans ... The Chicago Way

I'm old school. That means you don't do stuff you'll regret later... you think things through and weigh the pros and cons of your actions. You bring into the mix your experience and training and then let your conscience guide you. And you don't Taser and gut shoot 95 year old WWII vets.

The Chicago Tribune brings us this sad, sad episode:
When John Wrana was a young man, fit and strong and fighting in World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps, did he ever think he'd end this way?

Just a few weeks shy of his 96th birthday, in need of a walker to move about, cops coming through the door of his retirement home with a Taser and a shotgun.

The old man, described by a family member as "wobbly" on his feet, had refused medical attention. The paramedics were called. They brought in the Park Forest police.
So, the guy doesn't want a enema hose shoved up his ass or refuses to choke down his meds - call the police!!! Okay, he was waving a cane. Seriously. I know that some departments dispatch a cop whenever an ambulance rolls, we used to do that and I got some crazy-assed calls from that practice. But for mercy's sake, use your heads! An involuntary commitment and a man waving a cane does not merit a death warrant.
First they tased him, but that didn't work. So they fired a shotgun, hitting him in the stomach with a bean-bag round. Wrana was struck with such force that he bled to death internally, according to the Cook County medical examiner.
That bothered me... a Taser didn't put him down? Went to a cop site and followed some Taser discussions. This was typical: "Some failures are the obvious only one probe hit for whatever reason be it heavy clothing a miss etc. Some other unknown failures are low muscle mass hits with both probes say right in middle of the chest for example. Would hurt but may not stop a determined fighter. Or small probe spread. There is a great video of it on the newest training CD. Very small probe spread and the guy felt it but was able to press the simulated attack with a training knife and attack the camera..."

Back to our story.
"The Japanese military couldn't get him at the age he was touchable, in a uniform in the war. It took 70 years later for the Park Forest police to do the job," Wrana's family attorney, Nicholas Grapsas, a former prosecutor, said in an interview with me Thursday.

Wrana's family wants answers. The Illinois State Police are investigating the horrific incident but won't comment, and neither will the Park Forest police pending the outcome of the inquiry.
So, the cops say he had a butcher knife, but the staff says no, he didn't.

Forest Park, IL, is a village a few miles west of Chicago with a 2012 estimated population of 14,219. The FPPD handles about 23,000 calls a year hich is not high at all for a PD with 38 officers! That's about 6 cops per shift or each officer on average gets less than 4 calls per day. I used to answer anywhere from 12 to 26 calls a day! But Forest PArk has a moderately high crime rate of 52.9 per 1000. For comparison, I live in a village just outside a central NY city and our village crime rate is 34.5 per 1000 (FBI UCR stats).

Perhaps the FPPD is getting jammed up with flotsam and jetsam from Chicago, but how many of these desperadoes are semi-crippled 95 year old airmen?

There are bigger issues:
Is this a pilot project for Obama Care cutting costs for the elderly?
Was the IRS involved?
Was Airman Wrana smuggling firearms to Syria?
Is the CIA changing the officers' names?
Inquiring minds etc...


TS/WS made a comment about the Houston PD shooting an unarmed, schizophrenic. This happened in the fall of 2012 and a grand jury refused to indict the officer. The mental patient was threatening the officer with a ball point pen.
Story here.


TS/WS said...

A fellow in a old folks home did the same fit as a protest for taking meds he thought did more harm than good, Houston Police were called, and when the man in the wheel chair waived a PENCIL at the Cop-the Cop took a step back drew and fired, killing the elderly man in a wheel chair with one leg and one arm.

sig94 said...

TSWS - In the 24 years I was a cop, we shot and killed one man, just one and he shot at a cop.

We used to see the exercise of deadly physical force as the last step, not the first.

Subvet said...

On the flip side of outrage over police actions, my wife was down the street from our home, tending to our three small kids and saw some dude trying to enter through the front door (he failed). She very dutifully called 911. We got no response. Zip. Nada. Oh-row.

When we pulled the string on that one we were told she had sounded too calm for it to be anything serious. Newsflash: the wife is an RN, trained to put her emotions on the back burner during a crisis.

So the question was poised, "Just how distraught should she sound in the future in order to get a response?" There never was an answer on that one.

To this point all of the blame was at the doorstep of the 911 operators. But when the local police chief came down on their side in the argument we lost all faith in the local boys in blue.

On the positive side the wifely one now has no problems with firearms in the house for home protection.