WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by German Lopez 08.14.2013
Posted In: News, Police, Health care, LGBT Issues at 09:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
evolution of equality

Morning News and Stuff

Gay marriage still recognized; Ohio could expand, save on Medicaid; death after Taser use

A federal judge on Tuesday extended the temporary restraining order recognizing a gay couple’s marriage in Ohio. As CityBeat covered here, Jim Obergefell and John Arthur, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and is expected to die soon, sued local and state officials hoping to have their Maryland marriage acknowledged by Ohio before Arthur’s death certificate was issued. Judge Timothy Black sided with the couple, and he’s now extended the temporary restraining order until December, which should provide enough time for Arthur’s expected death and the remaining legal battle. The judge has made it clear that the order only applies to Obergefell and Arthur. Ohio could spend less on Medicaid if it expands eligibility for the program, according to a new analysis from Ohio State University and the Health Policy Institute of Ohio. But the expansion would have to come with cost controls that cap spending growth at 3.5 percent to 4 percent, as opposed to the current rate of 7.2 percent. Still, the analysis shows that policies including an expansion can save the state money. Under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), the federal government is asking states to expand Medicaid to include anyone at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. In return, the federal government would pay for the entire expansion for the first three years then phase down its payments to 90 percent of the expansion’s cost. Typically, the federal government pays for about 60 percent of Medicaid in Ohio. A Sycamore Township man died yesterday after Hamilton County deputies used a Taser on him during a brief struggle. Deputies found Gary Roell, 59, half-clothed and smashing windows right before they took him into custody. It’s unclear how many times the Taser was used or whether the Taser was the direct cause of death. Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil says the deputies followed protocol, given the violent actions carried out by Roell, who punched a deputy in the face during the confrontation. Still, some groups have been asking police departments around the country to change protocol altogether. A 2012 report from Amnesty International found at least 500 people died in the United States between 2001 and 2012 after being shocked with Tasers during their arrests or while in jail. The 2013 Ohio Health Issues Poll found that higher-income Ohio adults reported better health than those with lower incomes. In 2013, 59 percent of Ohio adults above 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or roughly $15,856 for a single-person household, reported “excellent” or “very good” health, compared to only 26 percent of those below 100 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $11,490 for a single-person household. The United Way of Greater Cincinnati is pointing to the results as just one other way life is more difficult for low-income Ohioans. The group intends to get at least 70 percent of the community to report “excellent” or “very good” health by 2020. Only about 53 percent of adults in southwest Ohio currently report such health, according to the Ohio Health Issues Poll. Hamilton County is still offering its free recycling program for electronic equipment, including computers and televisions, until noon on Oct. 26. The Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) today sent out a warning to college students asking them to watch out for drugged drinks. OIU provided four safety tips: Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks can be drugged, students shouldn’t leave a drink laying around or turn their backs on it, they shouldn’t accept drinks from strangers or someone they don’t trust, and students should watch their friends’ drinks and act if they see anything suspicious. The Ohio Incident Based Reporting System (OIBRS) shows there were 14 incidents of forcible rape with drug as a weapon in 2012, but not all Ohio police departments report to OIBRS, so the numbers are likely understated. A developer is planning to build 20 apartments in the mostly vacant Schwartz office building on Main Street, along the streetcar’s planned route. Developers are still working on building apartments above the Fountain Place retail complex, as announced nine months ago. Another steakhouse is opening in downtown Cincinnati. Delta is now offering direct flights from Cincinnati to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Jungle Jim’s sold a $1 million Mega Millions ticket. Watch lab-grown heart tissue beat on its own here.
 
 
by German Lopez 08.13.2013
Posted In: News, Police at 01:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
sheriff

Sycamore Township Man Dies After Police Struggle

Deputies deployed Taser during confrontation

A Sycamore Township man died overnight after the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office used a Taser to subdue him during a brief struggle. While responding to a 911 call, deputies found Gary Roell, 59, half-clothed and smashing windows behind a resident’s home, according to the police report. When deputies ordered Roell to the ground, he charged at them and punched one of the officers in the face. The deputies then shot Roell on the back with a Taser to physically restrain and handcuff him. After he was taken into custody, Roell began having labored breathing, and emergency medical services were called, the report reads. But before ambulances arrived, Roell stopped breathing. Despite attempts by deputies to revive Roell with CPR, he was pronounced dead upon reaching the hospital. Roell reportedly suffers from bipolar depression and schizophrenia, which can lead to a distorted view of reality. He had apparently stopped taking his medication. Two key facts remain unknown: whether the Taser led to Roell’s death and how many times the Taser was actually used. Jim Knapp, spokesperson for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, says those issues will be investigated by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigative Section and the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office. Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil says the officers followed protocol, given Roell’s violent behavior and actions. For some, the question is whether police protocol is correct in the first place. Advocacy group Amnesty International has been asking police departments around the country to scrutinize standards for deploying a Taser. A 2012 report from Amnesty International found at least 500 people died in the United States between 2001 and 2012 after being shocked with Tasers during their arrests or while in jail. On average, that’s nearly four deaths around the country each month. But if officers don’t use Tasers, they must resort other non-lethal tools, such as pepper spray or a baton, that require getting closer to a target. That, police experts argue, could lead to more injuries.
 
 

Benchmark

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 30, 2013
There was trouble at the University of Cincinnati the night of Aug. 6, 2011. Real, life-and-death trouble.  
by German Lopez 10.02.2012
Posted In: News, Police at 09:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
taser

Taser Study Finds Problematic Policies in Hamilton County

At least 16 county agencies deploy outdated Tasers

A study on Taser use in Hamilton County released Oct. 1 by a local law firm that has represented Taser victims in the past four years seeks to shed light on the problems behind Taser use in the county and nationwide. The study, which looked at 39 law enforcement agencies around Hamilton County through public record requests, listed a few key findings: Out of the 39 agencies, 33 use Tasers.94% of agencies’ materials do not adequately warn that Tasers can capture the heart rhythm of the subject, possibly leading to death.67% of policies permit upper chest shots despite the manufacturer’s warning moving the preferred target zone away from the upper chest.70% of policies do not instruct officers to consider the seriousness of the crime before deciding whether or not to use the Taser.33% policies do not specifically instruct officers to consider the risk of secondary impact of falling from an elevated surface subsequent to Taser use. 27% of policies do not restrict Taser use on vulnerable populations such as juveniles, elderly individuals, or the visibly pregnant despite the increased risk associated with those populations. 100% of policies fail to require that Tasers output be tested to ensure that the actual performance of the device is within manufacturer’s specifications. 73% of policies do not require an investigation that includes a data download from the Taser’s memory chip after use to independently verify the number and duration of shocks delivered to the subject. 15% of policies explicitly authorize officers to use their Taser on a fleeing subject, regardless of the crime or the threat to the public. At least 16 of the agencies deploy Tasers that are older than their estimated useful life. Two agencies that deploy Tasers maintain no Taser-specific policy.One agency deploys Tasers even though the agency’s policy prohibits their use The study also pointed out that the tension behind Taser use “does not exist only in the abstract,” referencing the more than 500 deaths involving Taser use in the United States.Al Gerhardstein, the local attorney behind the study, hopes the findings will lead to a change in Taser policies around the county.Tasers, which get their name off the company that manufactures them, are supposed to be nonlethal weapons. They work by firing two barbs into a subject. The barbs then penetrate the target's skin and deliver a shock of high voltage, causing temporary paralysis. The weapons are supposed to allow police officers to subdue a dangerous target without resorting to potentially lethal force. The most common Taser model is the X26. On Sept. 18, the Cincinnati Police Department established new guidelines for Taser use, which the department now says are adequate for dealing with the problems found in Gerhardstein’s study. The new policy disallows the use of frontal shots except in situations involving self-defense and the defense of others, reinforces the fact officers need to make sure force is necessary and specifically points out people have been injured due to Taser use in the past.
 
 

April 25-May 1: Worst Week Ever!

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Image consultants have reportedly urged Cincinnati to emulate larger, “awesome” cities by becoming more accommodating to skaters, bikers and users of other self-propelled modes of transportation. Otherwise, visitors who have seen the locally filmed 1993 rollerblading classic Airborne might be disappointed to find out that Cincinnati isn’t really the kind of place a cool kid from California would move and that Devil’s Backbone might not be real, either.  

Taser Use Prompts Lawsuits

Some police use weapons on nonviolent suspects

3 Comments · Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Local attorney Al Gerhardstein is concerned about the training and policies of law enforcement agencies regarding the justification and constitutionality of Taser use on nonviolent suspects.  

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