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Women's Birthing Rights, Women's Bodies

Miscarrying, Bleeding Woman Asked “How is that my problem?” by Police, Then Jailed

The  police videotape which can be found here shows Sofia Salva repeatedly telling officers she is three months pregnant, bleeding and needs to go to a hospital.

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

She was originally stopped when officers saw her using a fake temporary tag in the back window of her car.  When she was asked why she was using the fake tag, she responded that she was bleeding, was pregnant and needed to go to the hospital.  Instead, police ran a police check, searched her purse and bags, then arrested her on outstanding warrants, she spent the night in jail and then miscarried.

In response to Salva’s explaining why she was attempting to get to the hospital and that she was bleeding, police said, at various times, that she had a “line of excuses,” that whether or not she was bleeding, she had “more trouble with them (the police).”

She has sued the police department for refusing her medical attention, wrongful death, and personal injuries.  The department has begun an “internal investigation.”  Right.






10 thoughts on “Miscarrying, Bleeding Woman Asked “How is that my problem?” by Police, Then Jailed

  1. I guess the authorities really do care about saving those fetuses and so on. And when did hostility (as in, what the woman police officer said) come so squarely into fashion, anyway?

    Posted by profacero | February 1, 2007, 10:48 pm
  2. RSAs being RSAs.

    Posted by chasingmoksha | February 1, 2007, 11:01 pm
  3. To me, this is an instance of the woman police officer trying to be rougher and tougher than any of her male colleagues. “Miscarriage? (Snort) What the hell does that have to do with me, I’m not like *you*.”



    Posted by womensspace | February 1, 2007, 11:05 pm
  4. As you know, Heart, I work for a police department. And when you write those things about the men (and way too many of the women) who work there, you are spot on. It’s a burden to my soul that when wounded women come to us looking for help, looking to end the abuse they’ve suffered for however long, looking for a sympathetic ear, well, they rarely get it. I’m the object of scorn amongst my coworkers for spending extra time (goofing off, according to them) talking to women who are obviously stressed and afraid and who need someone to take them seriously. And when you hear “the guys” talking, all those officers with egos the size of a country who think they’re better than the public they are supposed to protect and serve, then you really get an idea of what they really think about women. Women, in their opinion, always somehow “ask for it”. The woman riding down the highway who almost gets run off the road by someone who wants her to look at him masturbating? It’s her fault, you know, she probably wanted it. The woman who finally gets the courage to leave her abusive situation? She gets no real help until (and then only maybe) she or her kids get physically hurt… cuz, you know, she must be asking for it or she wouldn’t stay.


    If I didn’t need my job, (and had the talent, lol) I’d probably write a book about the things that happen there and the very different way that I interpret them.

    Keep on writing. It’s good that some of us *can*.


    Posted by JJ | February 1, 2007, 11:46 pm
  5. JJ, write the book after you retire.

    Posted by Branjor | February 2, 2007, 1:42 am
  6. Yeah. Just last summer I reported stalking behavior by an ex who refused to accept my wish to break up. The male police officer who took the report ACTUALLY SAID, “You should be flattered that a man cares about you that much.”

    Posted by roamaround | February 2, 2007, 2:04 am
  7. How on earth could those officers say that Ms Salva “offered a line of excuses” when she only ever said the same thing “I’m pregnant, I’m bleeding and I’m trying to get to the hospital”. They just kept ignoring her as if she never even spoke. Yes, she was very polite to them (I would have lost it very early on!).

    Posted by stormy | February 2, 2007, 11:20 am
  8. I’ll just copy the comments accidentally posted here jfr, and put it in the VRR thread, then delete these. 🙂

    Posted by womensspace | February 2, 2007, 7:04 pm
  9. JJ, start writing it now and compile later 🙂

    This is terrible, the way the police – and much more so, coming from a woman! – handled this case. The least they could do is check if she was bleeding, if yes, escort her to the hospital to make sure she’s safe and not running away from using the fake tag.

    And the police is supposed to protect innocents?

    Posted by MJ | February 3, 2007, 3:54 pm
  10. I read that the department claimed it was doing an investigation yet it wasn’t until after the video became public that they put the involved officers on paid administrative leave(which the article called a “suspension”)which is what they are supposed to do when they realize that serious misconduct probably occurred. The video may make a difference in what happens to them, because it looked like nothing was being done before the newspaper requested it. They’ll probably get fired now, whereas I’m sure since they were dragging out the investigation for a year nothing was going to happen.

    The police culture is all about backing each other up against “them”, so it shouldn’t be surprising that their investigations of misconduct are affected by this attitude. A lot of times they aren’t even aware of it, because it’s so ingrained. It’s like breathing.

    It’s only through public exposure of misconduct that forces accountability because most law enforcement agencies won’t and can’t do it themselves which is why there are citizen review boards being created in many different cities.

    Posted by Radfem | February 4, 2007, 6:18 am

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