Sheriff Pat Hedges, following the 1997 in-custody death of Donal Schneider, stated, â€œWe teach CPR, but not to someone who has been handcuffedâ€? (â€œCounty settles wrongful-death lawsuit,â€? Dec. 9-16). Deputies neglected to remove handcuffs from Schneider before CPR.
After CPR failed on a handcuffed Jay Vestal, asphyxiated in 2003 by deputies during an overzealous arrest, Hedges said training is the key to keeping difficult situations from going bad, stating, â€œA big emphasis is on first aid and CPR â€¦â€? (cover story, Sept. 4-11, 2003).
First, in what year does the proper CPR training begin? Second, isnâ€™t removing cuffs before CPR obvious? I mean, do deputies require training to remove their shoes before showering? Third, CPR isnâ€™t required if you can manage not to kill suspects. Where is our police oversight?
Maybe the $650,000 Vestal payout will force Sheriff Hedges to take a couple of Neanderthals off the street. Who knew that eliminating police could prevent lawsuits and make us safer?
Kevin P. Rice