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Lawsuit: gay man dies after cop prevents CPR

The downward spiral of civil society continues, this time a story out of West Virginia. That police department motto of “To Protect and Serve” doesn’t apply if you’re a homo.

Claude Green, Jr. had a heart attack while driving with a friend, Billy Snead, in Welch, West Virginia. When Snead tried to perform CPR on his friend, the officer that came to the scene, Chief of Police Robert K. Bowman stopped Snead from doing so, and Green died. This is outrageous, and the ACLU is all over it. (

A federal discrimination lawsuit was filed Thursday by the surviving family members of a man who died of a heart attack after the police chief allegedly prevented his friend from performing CPR.

…According papers filed in court Thursday Snead had begun performing CPR by the side of the road when Bowman arrived and told Snead to stop because Green was HIV positive.

When Snead didn’t stop the CPR, Bowman grabbed Snead by the shoulders and physically barred Snead from continuing CPR at a critical point in Green’s resuscitation. Snead, who had not realized at first that Bowman was a police officer, obeyed his commands.

While Green fought to stay alive, Bowman prevented anyone else from aiding Green until EMS workers arrived approximately 10 minutes later.

It gets better — or worse, if we want to be accurate here, because Bowman, in his capacity as a law enforcement officer seemed to believe he had magical diagnostic abilities, alleging, without any evidence, that Green was HIV+.

He wasn’t.

While they were putting Green in the ambulance, Bowman informed EMS workers that Green was HIV positive. Although the EMS workers ignored Bowman’s warnings and performed CPR on Green, he passed away shortly after arriving at the hospital. He did not have HIV. The court papers said that Bowman based his assumption that Green was HIV+ because he knew Green was gay.

Yes, he assumes all homos have HIV. This level of ignorance by the head of a police department is completely unacceptable in this day and age; where is the sanity and obligation to serve, never mind the compassion? From the ACLU press release:

“Bowman’s actions were a frightening abuse of power,” said Rose Saxe, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s AIDS Project. “It’s hard to say what was more shameful: that Chief Bowman assumed Claude Green was HIV positive solely because he was gay, or that Bowman was so ignorant about HIV that he felt you couldn’t safely perform CPR on an HIV positive person.”

Helen Green reacts during an American Civil Liberties Union news conference in Charleston, W.Va., Thursday, March 2, 2006, announcing that the ACLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Green and the estate of her 43-year-old, son. (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner)

…“We have brought this lawsuit to stop Police Chief Bowman from hurting more people,” said Green’s sister Anita Tickle, a practicing nurse. “I have spent my life helping sick people, including people with HIV, and I cannot understand how Bowman could possibly justify his actions. We’ve known for two decades that HIV is not easily transmitted and that it is safe to perform CPR on someone with the disease. That’s something a police chief ought to know too.”

Hat tips to PovertyBarn and Evan.

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