A lawsuit filed in New York this week claims police illegally shackled a pregnant woman’s ankles together as she went into labor and right after she gave birth.
Medical staff at Montefiore Medical Center allegedly told New York City police officers that doing so could be dangerous for the expectant mother.
According to the court filing, the arresting officers responded by citing the agency’s patrol guide. A doctor’s note indicates authorities said NYPD policy “supersedes this law and that patient would need to remain restrained during remainder of hospitalization.”
The agency declined to comment on the suit but said through its law department that it would be looking into the claims “very carefully.”
According to the complaint, the unnamed woman was 27 years old in February 2017 when she was arrested on suspicion of a domestic crime the took place the previous year. Police took her into custody days before her due date.
The woman’s attorney claims that the fact officers “disregarded the medical advice of doctors suggests that they didn’t use any humanity and sort of blindly followed what they perceived to be the policy in the Patrol Guide.”
Jane Doe claims in the suit that she has been plagued by nightmares since that arrest, which she claims did not have to occur when she was 40 weeks pregnant.