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Anna Brown Death Draws Criticism from Ex-Homeland Security Official

Richmond Heights officials should be ashamed by the treatment of Anna Brown before her death in a city jail cell, a reader writes in this open letter to Mayor James Beck.

This open letter to Richmond Heights Mayor James Beck is from H. Sheperd, a Maryland native. Sheperd wrote in response to last fall.

Hello, Mayor Beck:

As a former Homeland Security public information officer on disasters, I am appalled by the case of Anna Brown, having served in jurisdictions like yours all over the U.S.

We responded to disasters and cases of victims nationwide and had "screamers" in our disaster field offices in states and cities like yours. They were devastated by circumstances, as this woman had been with health and other issues that did not include drugs—a quick hospital blood test would have determined this for your law enforcement!

No matter what the case, we treated other human beings with dignity and respect—unlike your police officers, who placed an obviously ill woman on a hospital floor, and then on a filthy cell block floor.

They took her out of a wheelchair, put her on the high-traffic hospital floor, then another wheelchair and in handcuffs.

She could not walk on an injured ankle, so did they think "fight or flight," your two large officers—really?

If the clot in her leg(s) did not move to her legs after hours in a hospital hallway, your officers' treatment likely contributed to her demise.

My grandfather, Herb Steele, was from Missouri and, were he still on the planet, I believe that he would be embarrassed to call your state his home after this case.

Thank God he worked for Atomic Energy and ended his days in a more humane state near the nation's capital, in Maryland.

For shame, Mayor Beck, for shame—and may the heads down there roll!

May God forgive your police department as well as the misdirected doctor who released Anna into your officers' care—wow!

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