Tag Archives: Amy Gillespie

Whatever Wednesday: In which I rant about: NYPD, Allegheny County Jail System, and the TSA

I love Wednesdays. Why? Because I get to write about something other than Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorders. I love writing my regular blog posts. But Wednesday is a breath of fresh air – kind of like a rest stop on a road trip, if you will.

Today, I’m taking on some rather touchy topics. I need to get it out of my system. I may just curse. Consider yourself warned.

If you’re still fragile, you may want to skip this post all together. The Alleghany County and Amazon stories may be triggering for some.

New York City Police Department

Image by scoutnurse via Flickr

First, the NYPD. Sure, the boys in blue up there in New York City are charged with keeping the city safe. And yes, like any other human organization, they fuck up from time to time. Okay, so maybe a lot. But this most recent situation? SO very inappropriate. A definite abuse of power. NYPD of the 34th Precinct recently arrested and charged 7 chess players with “failure to Comply With Directions of Police Officers, Urban Park Rangers, Parks Enforcement Patrol Officers, or Other Department Employees, or Park Signs.”

Really, NYPD?

According to recent NYPD crime statistics, murder and injury via gunfire is up by 13.2% over last year. In Manhattan alone, where the 34th Precinct is located, murder is up by 12.2%.

But what the NYPD would have you believe is that a few men, sitting at chess tables behind a fence, closed off from the remainder of the park, drinking tea and eating muffins, are more dangerous than a thug with a gun.

Here’s a crazy idea, New York: MOVE THE TABLES.

But I suppose that would cost too much money. Or is it that it would decrease income for the city? If the tables are left where they are, people will come to play. You will arrest them, earning a measly $50 off of each offender. But is the cost really worth it?

The arrested chess players have no current plans to return to their tables. Why? Because they’re not criminals.

 

This next rant may prove triggering for some. It’s about Allegheny County’s Jail System. Scroll down if you want to read about the TSA instead.

 

Recently, Amy Lynn Gillespie, a woman in Allegheny County became pregnant.

So what?

Well, she was jailed for becoming pregnant. Turns out she had been arrested for shoplifting and later for prostitution. As a condition of her work-release probation, she was told not to get pregnant. I do not know if remaining celibate was also part of her probation order.

When she did become pregnant? Allegheny County threw her in jail.

She developed bacterial pneumonia and despite several requests to receive medical attention, she was denied care.

By the time she finally received care, it was too late.

Both she and her 18 week fetus died due to the negligence of Allegheny County Jail System.

What the efff.

Regardless of Amy’s crimes, her unborn infant did not deserve to pay the price. She did not deserve to die in jail. She should never have been jailed in the first place. I’m absolutely disgusted that this happened in my country.

Amy’s mother is suing Allegheny County for the death of her daughter. The hospital at which she received care is not named in the suit. If Amy had been seen sooner, she (and her little one) would still be with us.

Something is not right when a citizen cannot shoplift but a government agency can categorically justify withholding medical attention to a pregnant woman.

 

Speaking of pregnant women and children, the TSA is all over them these days. All over everyone, actually.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you know all about the controversy regarding Scanners, Pat-downs, and TSA Agents. Scanners are believed to infuse an unhealthy amount of radiation into your body. So a pat-down is preferable to walking into an x-ray machine for most, especially frequent fliers and cancer survivors. But the pat-down has become much more aggressive with TSA workers now allowed to use the front of their hand instead of the backs. Videos have surfaced of toddlers, children, being torturously patted down by TSA Agents who seem oblivious to the plight of the little one.

Here’s the thing, TSA. I have talked with my kids about good touch v. bad touch. So now, if I choose to fly with my kids, I need to have the TSA Pat-down touch talk with them too. I’m grateful I don’t fly often or I would be even more upset. My husband and I had talked about the possibility of flying the whole family to next year’s PSI Conference. If things continue the way they are going these days, I won’t let my kids anywhere near an airport anytime soon.

How would I explain the TSA pat-down to my kids?

I imagine it would go something like this:

Me: So, we’re going to get on a plane and fly in a few days. But first we have to go through security.

Kid: What’s that?

Me: Well, there were some bad people who did some really bad things to our country with planes before you were born. So now we have to all bend over and let the government sniff our arses before we get on a plane.

Kid: Realllly?

Me: Well, no, but it might be easier to just do that instead.

Kid: So what DO They do?

Me: They feel all over your body including in your private spot.

Kid: Whaaaaaaa? Why?

Me: A bad person tried to sneak a bomb on a plane in his underwear.

Kid: Well that’s just stupid. What if it had exploded in his underwear? Wouldn’t that have hurt?

Me: Yes, honey, it would have. But he was caught and now the TSA gets to touch everyone in their private spot and all over.

Kid: Well that’s just stupid. I don’t want to blow up a plane.

Me: I know, honey. Neither do I. But the TSA thinks you do until proven otherwise.

 

Thanks, TSA, for forcing parents everywhere to have to talk with their kids about terrorists, bombs, and how to handle genital groping before they’re even old enough to go to school. You totally rock my world.

 

This year, I am thankful our forefathers are not here to see the mess we seem to have made of our country. Pretty damned sure they wouldn’t be happy about the current state of affairs. We’ve gone from bold and brazen to scared and huddling masses. Shame on us for getting here.

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