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VIEWS AND VOICES
No compassion from the police

August 17, 2007 | Page 4

I'M WRITING to thank Christopher Henderson for his letter expressing sympathy for me and the many others who knew and loved Josh Brand ("Sympathy for a sad loss," August 3). It was a gesture that touched me deeply, and I know that Josh would have loved it, too. Thank you so very much, Christopher.

I would also like to report on the outrageous treatment I received from the Baltimore City Police Department after finding Josh and calling 911.

A uniformed officer offered me the chance to ride with Josh to the local hospital, so of course I ran to the ambulance at full speed and jumped into the passenger seat. I'd been sitting there for about one minute when a different officer approached me and informed the driver that I would have to stay at the scene.

Donations in memory of Josh

The Center for Economic Research and Social Change is accepting donations in memory of Josh, to be used to support Haymarket Books, a project that Josh saw as important to our struggle. If you would like to contribute, please send checks payable to CERSC (with "In memory of Josh Brand" written in the memo line) to: CERSC, P.O. Box 258082, Chicago, IL 60625. For more information, call 773-583-7884.

 

I was removed from the ambulance and repeatedly questioned by three or four different cops, including a homicide detective. Two of the cops had no qualms about joking around and chuckling among themselves, while I sat on Josh's staircase and sobbed. One detective actually said something to the effect of, "Some job. All these bodies and suicides." I'm a case manager for people with mental illness, so I'm familiar with the phenomenon of compassion fatigue, but damn!

I was then taken to the homicide unit of the local police station, where I was made to sit in a waiting room for 30 to 45 minutes before being taken to an interrogation room and questioned again.

I should mention, by the way, that I asked to see a counselor several times during this whole ordeal. The response I got? "As soon as we're finished with you." Protect and serve, my ass.
Jenni Rowe, Windsor Mill, Md.

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