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Woman Sues Police After Losing Baby

February 1, 2007

News from Kansas City about a woman who was three-month pregnant and was bleeding when she was stopped by two police officers because of outstanding traffic violations and carrying a fake temporary tag. Despite of repeated pleading from the woman to be taken to the hospital, she sat in the curb beside her car while the police officers searched her car. She was polite to the officers during the entire time. She was taken to jail and could not go to the hospital until the next day. She lost her baby.

After the incident, officers found out that , apparently, this woman had “outstanding city warrants for mistreatment of children, trespassing and several traffic violations, with bonds totaling $4,600.” Even if such charges are true, no human being should be denied the right to be taken to a hospital if they need care. I understand that police officers deal with any kind of criminals every day in their occupation and that they are perhaps used to people lying to them so they can run away or escape from the situation. But one has to consider what threat was this woman to the public order, but just outstanding payments to the city. This is when law enforcement loses its perspective that results in unjust situations. This woman was not a criminal, but even if she was, her requests to be taken to the hospital should have been granted. What are your thoughts?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A woman whose premature baby died the day after she was arrested has sued the Kansas City Police Department and two officers who repeatedly ignored her pleas for medical help while they were arresting her.

A police videotape released Tuesday shows Sofia Salva telling police officers numerous times on Feb. 5, 2006, that she was pregnant, bleeding and needed to go to a hospital.

After the ninth request, a female officer asked: “How is that my problem?”

Salva, a Sudanese native, was held overnight on traffic violations and outstanding city warrants. After being released the next morning, she delivered a premature baby boy who died after one minute, according to a lawsuit Salva filed Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court.

“Do you want to check me?” Salva asks on the tape. “I’m bleeding. I have a 3-month baby inside.” “I don’t doubt that you’re possibly bleeding, but you got a lot more problems with us,” Schnell said.

No tapes were available of Salva’s time in the jail, but she contends in the lawsuit that her continued pleas for help were ignored. The next morning, jailers let her go to a hospital after she passed a large blood clot. Salva delivered a premature baby boy, who lived for one minute. (Read the complete story on The Kansas City Channel.)


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