Sunday, August 21, 2011

GUILTY! Nashville and Davidson County's Sheriff Department Guilty of Shackling Young, Pregnant Latina Mother!

GUILTY! Last Thursday, a Nashville Jury ruled against the joint government of Nashville and Davidson County in which the county sheriff's deputies violated Mom Juana Villegas' rights when they shackled her while pregnant, while in labor and during her postpartum recovery. In April, U.S. District Judge William Haynes ruled in favor of Villegas, and after a three-day trial this week, the jury set the award for the terrorized mom at a $200,000 award for the torture she received.

Villegas' nightmare began on July 3, 2008, when she was nine months pregnant and driving home with her (citizen) children in the car from a doctor's appointment in metro Nashville. A police officer pulled her over and Mom showed a current car registration but had no license. She also showed a matricular card. The police asked her to call someone who could come and drive them and the car home. She called her husband's brother, he came, spoke to police, and then was ready to drive the car home when the cop decided that the pregnant mom was going to jail. He BULLIED her and drove her to jail. (double click on picture below to see a closer look of how she was bullied by police) Another cop who was nearby … came to speak with the uncle after the mom was driven away. “The cop said he would have never arrested her, and that it was wrong to arrest her. But that he couldn't do an
ything about it.” (MORE On the arresting officer later)
Mom Villegas was transported to a detention center, where two days later, she went into labor. According to court documents, Mom Villegas was taken to Nashville General Hospital where she was placed on a gurney with her HANDS AND FEET SHACKLED!!
Once in her hospital room, two Davidson County sheriff's MALE deputies refused to leave the room WHILE SHE CHANGED into her hospital gown, and unplugged her phone so she could NOT call her husband about her labor. Afterwards, one of the MALE deputies SHACKLED HER LEFT FOOT AND RIGHT HAND TO THE HOSPITAL BED, something that the medical staff called a "barbaric" violation of medical standards, court records state. The SHACKLES were finally removed before MOM VILLEGAS delivered her baby.

The situation was so brutal that the labor and delivery nurses were crying. Later, when she was taken back to the jail, she developed infections in both breasts because the officers at the Davidson County Jail (in Nashville) would NOT allow her to have a breast pump. She was separated from her newborn for 2 days. The baby developed jaundice.

During the trial Mom Villegas testified about how afraid she was for the safety of her baby. She didn't know what to expect. She didn't know what was going to happen.
After she had delivered the baby, and AGAINST doctor's orders, a third deputy SHACKLED her to the bed again, according to the court documents. Note: Mom Villegas' baby is an American citizen. Mrs. Villegas has been in the United States for 12 years and her husband and two other children are also American Citizens.
The sheriff's department's policies (287(g) program) that led the deputies to shackle her throughout the ordeal were a violation of the U.S. and Tennessee constitutions, her lawyers argued. Additionally, the arresting officer, Tim Coleman, was a local school board candidate who ran on "ANTI-Latino" and "ANTI-Immigrant" rhetoric in support of the 287(g) program. He also testified, under oath, and in court that there was NO VIDEOTAPEs of the arrest. However, two years later (in 2010) it was reported there was a videotape. See this link.

This case reminds us: We live in America! We are not supposed to violate the Human Rights of ANYONE. We are supposed to be better than this. AND we should be above condoning such treatment. Even the court said so when they ruled against the deputies' actions!

In a 2009 Supreme Court decision, none of the 9 Justices -- and, indeed, not even the Bush administration -- argued that the Constitution applies only to American citizens. It is indisputable, well-settled Constitutional law that the Constitution restricts the actions of the Government with respect to both American citizens and foreigners. It's not even within the realm of mainstream legal debate to deny that.


Vicente Duque said...

Shocking Inhumanity !

Cowardice, Bigotry and Racism of Police Officers !


Vicente Duque said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Page Hits