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Saturday, 28 September 2013

Distraught father was pepper-sprayed, handcuffed to a bench while his da...

JOPLIN, MO — A tragic situation went from awful to worse as two family members were arrested by police in the process of trying to save a teen girl's life after a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A father tells of how he missed the final hours of his daughter's life because he was handcuffed to a bench in a police station, his face still raw from being pepper-sprayed. Now he and his son face criminal charges that have not been dropped, six months later.

READ MORE: http://www.policestateusa.com/2013/di...

After discovering that 16-year-old Brooke had shot herself in the head, the Russell family raced to get her to a hospital. They met an ambulance at a police station. The family was frantic. There was no time to lose. They began transferring Brooke to the ambulance.

"To me, time was everything. I was going, 'Let's go, get her to the hospital, hurry up, hurry up,'" father Kevin Russell remembered saying to the EMT, according to KSPR.

The situation took a turn for the worse when an EMT let Brooke's body fall off the gurney, in the rush to save her. Her father says this happened when the EMT turned away to ask what had happened.

Overcome with emotion, Kevin lost his cool. "I started screaming and said, 'Do your f-ing job, get her to the hospital,' and the EMT put his finger in my face and said, 'Calm down, sir.' I was screaming, '"'Please get her to the hospital.' "

That's when police started pepper-spraying the family.

"I was on the pavement, I couldn't breathe and another officer put a knee in my back and told me to get up and he said if I didn't get up he was going to Tase me."

Kevin was pepper sprayed as well. "I heard someone tell me to calm down or they would pepper-spray me, and then I saw the spray shoot out. I turned my head to the left and felt it land against the back of my head," he explained. "The fumes made it hard to breath. I turned around, still screaming to get my daughter to the hospital, and then another stream of pepper spray hit me right in the eyes."

Both Kevin and his son were dragged into the police station and handcuffed to a bench. They were initially told that they would be released in 20 minutes and charged with disturbing the peace. Instead they were detained for 3.5 hours, covered with chemical irritant, while Brooke's life was quickly fading away.

Kevin and Brant were both charged with 3 misdemeanors each; assault, obstruction of an EMT, and disturbing the peace. He says the prosecutor offered them each a deferment on 2 charges if they plead guilty to assaulting a police officer. Kevin refused to plead guilty to something he says he didn't do, and plans to go to trial.

The "crazy reports," as described by Kevin, included claims that he believed were inserted just to justify the mistakes of the EMT and the overreaction by police. According to Kevin, the reports would blame Kevin for knocking Brooke off the gurney, fabricated accounts of aggression and blocking the ambulance door, and other wild accusations.


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