After refusing to leave the St. Mary’s Health Center in St. Louis last September, 29-year-old Anna Brown was put in jail for trespassing where—15 minutes later—she died. Brown, who had lost custody of her two children and was homeless, went to three hospitals to seek help for a sprained ankle but was denied treatment at all three. Her autopsy report found that she died in jail due to blood clots that migrated from her legs to her lungs. Needless to say, her family and activists are infuriated and looking for answers. “If the police killed my daughter, I want to know,” said Brown’s mother, Dorothy Davis. “If the hospital is at fault, I want to know. I want to be able to tell her children why their mother isn’t here.”
St. Mary’s officials claim they followed protocol and did all they were suppose to do for Brown. The hospital’s ultrasound found no sign of blood clots in her legs, but when she refused to leave and stayed for hours the doctor made a “Fit for Confinement” report and officers wheeled her off to jail. “A lot of times people don’t want to stay in jail and will claim to be sick,” said Police Chief Maj. Roy Wright. “We depend on medical officials to tell us they’re OK.” No lawsuits has been filed as of yet.
Will the hospital be held accountable for this? And, why didn’t the police do more to facilitate the hospital taking a second look?