The officer arrested her on charges of disorderly conduct and trespassing, handcuffed her and escorted her out of the facility. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident, and the state medical examiner has now ruled that the woman passed away from a blood clot in her lungs that was related to her obesity.
When officers arrived, they handcuffed Dawson, who her family stated in the report, used oxygen “24-7”, and attempted to place her in the police vehicle.
Mallory says a doctor was present and said he would readmit Dawson when she collapsed. Dawson’s family says she was pleading for medical care and her oxygen tank and neither were provided.
Her death comes at a time of increased scrutiny of the use of force by law enforcement, particularly against minorities, following a string of national protests over the deaths of mostly unarmed black men during interactions with police.
“The most reasonable thing to do is to let her sit there and be able to settle down until she felt well”.
During a news conference later Wednesday, Calhoun Liberty Hospital CEO Ruth Atttaway said the hospital would cooperate with state investigators who are looking into the matter and the circumstances of Dawson’s death would be fully reviewed.
Blountstown Police Chief Mark Mallory said Dawson was admitted to the hospital about 10:30 p.m. Hours later, she was discharged after being treated and cleared by hospital staff. “She was causing a disturbance in the hospital with her language and the volume of her voice”, Mallory said.
Relatives of Dawson told the paper that hospital staff couldn’t find a pulse on her after she collapsed and that they didn’t begin trying to revive her until they had wheeled her inside. Police were called to the emergency room when Dawson, who had been discharged by physicians, refused to leave.
Her family said she went to the same hospital on Sunday night because of her stomach pains. According to the Global Grind, Dawson’s aunt was with her at the time of the incident, and Angela Donar said the staff handled her niece with unnecessary roughness.
The woman’s death would come as she was being escorted by police in handcuffs when she collapsed as she was being led into a police patrol vehicle, only to die two hours laters. “Instead, she is forcibly removed and put in cuffs”, the family’s attorney, Daryl Parks, told AP. The early facts of this case should cause a great concern for everyone’. She told the Democrat that a doctor couldn’t detect Dawson’s pulse before she was wheeled back into the hospital.
Reacting to Dawson’s death, Dale Landry of the Florida chapter of the NAACP told: ‘We strongly believe the death was due to negligence by the police department and hospital’.