Police Forced A Bronx Woman To Give Birth While Handcuffed
Despite doctors at Montefiore Medical Center warning the restraints would hinder and hurt the woman, the police persisted.
A Bronx woman who was 40 weeks pregnant went into labor while in a holding cell. The police then took her to a local hospital where her wrists were handcuffed to the bed and her ankles shackled. The doctors at Montefiore Medical Center urged the patrolling guard to remove the restraints stating it would harm the mother, but the guard persisted.
According to a lawsuit filed, the woman has asked to remain anonymous. “I haven’t made sense of it myself and I’m not ready to explain it to my child,” she said in an affidavit.
The woman was 27 at the time endured an hour of excruciating labor pains before the guard relented and freed one of her arms. Jane Doe was only fully free nine hours after giving birth.
“The fact that pregnant women and women in labor would be subject to the most draconian treatment imaginable, particularly when they stand accused of a misdemeanor, speaks volumes about the macho culture of police departments and corrections,” Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said.
A judge arraigned Jane Doe in her hospital bed for violating a protective order. The woman's lawyer Katherine Rosenfeld explained to the New York Times the order stemmed from a protective-custody case involving her former partner. Ms. Doe spent almost 30 hours in protective custody.
“The fact that they disregarded the medical advice of doctors suggests that they didn’t use any humanity and sort of blindly followed what they perceived to be the policy in the Patrol Guide,” Ms. Rosenfeld said.