The 8th Bullet: Handcuffed to the Bed
Jacob Blake should never have been shot.
But unlike so many other victims, he lived. He made it to a hospital, and though he is paralyzed, his kids haven’t lost their dad.
But we learned today that the police department weren’t done yet. They chained a man who cannot walk, who might never walk again, to his hospital bed.
By doing so, they might have just put the final bullet in his back.
Did you know that 7–8% of deaths in spinal cord injuries are related to a pressure sore?
If these patients can be stabilized from their initial injuries to their spinal cord, they aren’t out of the woods yet.
Our bodies are not designed to stay in one place for a prolonged period of time, and if we have feeling in our lower half, we naturally readjust often so that we don’t get too uncomfortable.
We are spoiled by the luxury of having our nervous system warn us before we get to a pressure sore situation.
But if you don’t have feeling in a portion of your body, you won’t know that you need to move, change positions, or shift around.
So, you stay in one spot, and you can develop a pressure sore, which has a high risk of infection, and in almost ten percent of spinal cord injuries, this injury becomes the cause of death.
Luckily, there is a great way to reduce and prevent the incidence of pressure sores.
Pressure sores can be avoided by patient repositioning.
It isn’t complicated.
As long as the patient can be repositioned, either by a nurse or with assistance in bed… pressure sores and their chance of infection can be prevented.
You know what could prevent shifting positions?
Being handcuffed to your hospital bed.
It apparently wasn’t enough to be shot, from the back, seven times.
It wasn’t enough that his family had to see it.
It isn’t enough that he might not ever walk again.
Instead, they had to increase the chance of death- again- by preventing him from moving, and consequently preventing him from avoiding these pressure sores.
Keep in mind, the percentage of death cited above was likely relatively low because most patients are not kept in one spot. I doubt there is research on how many patients get pressure sores when they are handcuffed to a bed and limited from the number of positions they can change to.
This is a form of torture, if not a direct cause of death if he is unfortunate enough to get an infected pressure sore.
How hard would it be for the police to be contacted if/when he is released from the hospital?
None. That would not be difficult at all.
For now, he is still under medical care.
He can’t even walk.
As high profile as Jacob Blake is, there is no way he could even be snuck out by someone else without it becoming news the second he left his room.
If, and only if, he has to be under arrest when he leaves, there is absolutely no reason he needs to be restrained now.
When the hospital staff clears him to be let go, the police can get a nice little call, and they can do the whole arresting thing then, if it is actually necessary, and they can deal with that then.
Here’s an idea.
How about the police remove the handcuffs and give him the best possible chance to live before prosecuting him for any crime?
How about they don’t fire an eighth bullet at his back?
How about they treat him as a man who was already unjustly treated by their force, and deserves better?
You know, because black lives matter.