Wheelchair-bound Tennessee woman, 60, dies of stroke after she’s arrested for refusing to leave hospital

Wheelchair-bound Tennessee woman, 60, dies of stroke after she’s arrested for refusing to leave hospital

By Jenny Anna Mathew

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE: Distressing footage of negligent Knoxville police officers arresting an elderly wheelchair-bound woman has sparked fury online. Lisa Edwards, 60, appears to be pleading with the officers that she “can’t breathe” after being arrested for refusing to leave the hospital. Just moments later, she collapses and dies of a stroke in the back of the police cruiser.

The tragic incident took place at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, in Tennessee, on February 6, after officers responded to a 911 call about a woman refusing to leave the hospital. Upon the police’s arrival, Edwards could be seen begging and pleading with the officers to “stop,” “I’m going to pass out” and at one point even telling the cops, “you’re going to kill me.” Despite Edwards’ desperate pleas, the Knoxville officers refused to listen to her and continued to handle the situation in a callous and negligent manner. Subsequently, since her passing, the officers were suspended on paid leave but there are no charges against them.

What really happened?

Knoxville Police released the torturous hour-long video in which Edwards could be heard telling one officer that she needs to sit down before being escorted into the police cruiser. Meanwhile, the police officer responds by telling her to “help them help her.” One cop can be heard telling her that she’s “been medically cleared” before another says “you weren’t having any breathing problems when you were out here smoking a cigarette,” reported Daily Mail. Gasping and wheezing, Edwards tells the officers to “Stop” adding, “I’m going to pass out” with the officer telling her “you’re going to get in there one way or another.”

The blood-curling footage shows officers trying to shove her inside the vehicle before telling her she will “get more charges” and another adds they are “tired of her deadweight crap.” At one point Edwards tells the officer “help lift me up, oh please” as cops threaten to slam the door on her foot. In her final moments, frail Edwards could be heard telling the officers, “you’re going to kill me.” However, when Edwards and the officers finally took off on the road to transport her to Roger Wilson Detention Facility, the cops pull over another car for reckless driving.

The cops soon discover, Edwards unresponsive in the back before attempting to shout “wake up” several times. The officers call an ambulance for further assistance, but Edwards remained unresponsive. Following the release of the footage, Edwards family couldn’t “believe the way she was treated”, adding “she did not deserve to be treated like that, nobody does.”

“It’s totally irrelevant of how she got to where she was that morning, but that whole situation that played out for an extended period of time is horrible, absolutely horrible,” Edwards’s daughter-in-law August Boylan, who is a nurse, said. “The police officers may not have done anything intentionally criminal to cause anything to happen to her, but they definitely were negligent and had no respect for human life, any basic needs, anything,” she told WATE.

‘She said it herself, she was dying!’

“You don’t have to be a medical professional to know what the signs of stroke are. And you can see that in her, you know, start to finish,” said August. “She, I mean, she said it herself, that she was dying, that she was having a stroke,” she added. The Knox County District Attorney’s Office announced no charges will be filed against the officers. According to the DA’s office, Edwards died of natural causes and the law enforcement ‘interaction’ did not contribute to her death. The department has however launched an internal investigation and the officers involved are on paid leave. In a statement, they said, “The KPD extends its deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the family of Lisa Edwards.”


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