KC police officers suspended over woman miscarrying

Canada
February 1, 2007 11:01pm CST
Discuss? 2 KC Officers Suspended in Case of Woman Who Miscarried By ANDALE GROSS Associated Press Writer KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Two Kansas City police officers were suspended with pay Thursday as an investigation continued into their actions last year when they stopped a pregnant woman who later miscarried. The suspension of officers Melody Spencer and Kevin Schnell is indefinite, police spokesman Capt. Rich Lockhart said. At a news conference Thursday at police headquarters, Chief James Corwin said the officers' behavior is "inconsistent with the values and policies of this department and inconsistent with the training they received in the police academy." Corwin read from a written statement and declined to answer reporters' questions. The Feb. 5, 2006, incident in which Spencer and Schnell stopped Sudanese native Sofia Salva for a fake temporary car tag was captured on videotape. Police released the tape Tuesday, days after Salva filed a wrongful death and personal injuries lawsuit against the department and the two officers. In her suit, Salva, 32, claims the officers ignored her repeated pleas for medical attention. In the video of the stop, Salva tells police she is three months pregnant, bleeding and needing to go to the hospital. The officers arrested Salva after learning she had outstanding city warrants for endangering children, trespassing, driving while suspended and other traffic violations. The endangering allegation stemmed from a 2002 incident in which Salva was accused of leaving her three children home alone while she went to the store. Salva says jailers allowed her medical attention the morning after the stop and that she delivered a premature baby boy who died a minute after birth. Salva's attorney, Andrew Protzman, could not be reached for comment Thursday. Corwin, who returned to Kansas City on Thursday from a law enforcement conference in Washington, D.C., said he felt the matter was serious enough to suspend the officers even though an internal investigation is not complete. The actions of Spencer and Schnell is not reflective of the Police Department as a whole, the chief said. Typically, internal investigations are not sparked until lawsuits are resolved, he said, but he thought the incident warranted the department starting a probe sooner. "I ask for patience from the community as we investigate this incident," Corwin said. "I regret that this incident has reflected negatively on the members of this department, the vast majority of whom do their job in an exemplary fashion every day." He said he couldn't comment further because of the lawsuit. According to department policy, "officers will procure transportation for a sick or injured person when requested or appropriate." Spencer has been with the Police Department four years and Schnell less than two years. No telephone numbers are listed for the two officers. Lockhart said the officers are declining comment for now. Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved I personally think this was sick, IMHO.
1 person likes this
4 responses
• United States
2 Feb 07
I saw it on TV and it was one of the most inhumane police incidents I have. That one of the arresting officers was a women makes it even worse. I hope she sues and they get charged with manslaughter.
@Anakata2007 (1789)
• Canada
2 Feb 07
I think it's sick too. I think they should be suspended. I saw the video on CNN and the female police officer was telling the woman "How is that my problem?" and "stop having that attitude, it's called a menstrual period" Like how cold and cruel can you be, and from a woman no less!
@cowgirl2701 (2081)
• United States
2 Feb 07
I live in Kansas City. I am outraged about this. It wasn't just the police officers involved! She was in the County jail for over ten hours and was given at least 5 pairs of pants to change into. I want anyone who came in contact with her during that time fired! I just posted about this incident with a link to the local news. They have the video cam from the stop that you can watch. They also have a blog that you can comment on this. I am going to try and find e-mail addresses for city officials so people can e-mail them and demand people get fired.
@mnksmommy (302)
• United States
2 Feb 07
I think this is a terrible event under any circumstances. I understand where both the police and the woman were coming from. The officers are jaded b/c they hear every excuse in the book daily and feminine bleeding would be hard to prove unless the woman dropped trow. However, as someone who has had a miscarriage, it is traumatic and painful. If I were her--I would have never stopped for them and went straight to the hospital and they could deal with me later. She was probably going to miscarry regardless.