Only the names have been concealed to protect the Office of Professional Standards and the Chicago Police Department:
The officers were responding to a request from the city's Department of Aging.[The Alias Kid noted: If there is any doubt as to whether or not proper procedure starts with a wellness check and ends with Tasing an 82 year-old woman, the Chicago Police Department's "procedures" just might be a source of the problem.]
Apparently, the department had received an anonymous tip that Lillian Fletcher, who has a history of mental illness, was home alone and in need of assistance.
When Fletcher refused to open her door, police were called. Although Fletcher cracked the door, she still refused to let her visitors into the house.
But police officers wouldn't take no for an answer and pushed their way in. Fletcher ran and got the hammer she keeps beside her bed.
"My grandmother is easily confused," her granddaughter, Traci Taylor, said Monday. "She probably didn't know what was going on." ***
"I just don't think they should be Tasing 82-year-old women. That's ridiculous."Reportedly swinging a hammer
According to a police source, when officers arrived, Fletcher was "swinging a hammer" and becoming "increasingly violent."
When Fletcher failed to stop as ordered, an officer discharged a Taser. Also, it's worth noting that Fletcher hasn't been charged with violating any laws.
"The matter is being looked into by the Office of Professional Standards, and the Chicago Police Department will also be reviewing the matter to determine if procedures were followed," a police spokesman said.
After Tasing Fletcher, officers took her to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where she was treated. Her family is concerned Fletcher may have suffered a stroke. Citing privacy laws, a hospital spokesman declined comment. ***Fletcher was released five days later, but she is still complaining about her hip and a burn on her abdomen. Doctors told Fletcher's family that she should be seen by a neurologist because she has fluid on her brain and may have to undergo surgery.Grandma Fletcher probably won't die as a result of this police misconduct. But others will.
Even if it's only because caring and concerned Chicagoans will now hesitate -- quite understandably -- before calling the City of Chicago's 311 number to request a wellness check on their frail and elderly neighbors.
Bad cops make bad neighbors.