Two psychiatrists and hospital named in NY cop's $50 million involuntary commitment lawsuit
March 5, 2011
Most of the news you will read about the lawsuit filed by New York police officer Adrian Schoolcraft is about how his superiors in Brooklyn's 81st Precinct had him involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility because he was going to blow the whistle on them for unlawful ticket quotas and manipulated crime statistics.
What is not so much publicized is that the defendants in his $50 million lawsuit include Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and two of its psychiatrists: Dr. Isak Isakov and Dr. Lilian Aldana-Bernier.
Among the allegations against Isakov and Aldana-Bernier in Schoolcraft's civil suit:
- They failed to perform the proper and necessary tests to determine that plaintiff was either a “substantial risk of physical harm to himself...or to others...."
(In New York, as in most states, the criteria for being involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility is that one must be shown to be a danger to himself or others by having made suicidal or homicidal threats or attempts or displayed such behavior.)
- They unlawfully detained and involuntarily confined Schoolcraft to Jamaica Hospital for treatment without any justification, in violation of his constitutional rights.
- They deprived Schoolcraft of his liberty, denied him his fundamental constitutional rights, publicly embarrassed and humiliated him and caused him to suffer severe emotional distress.
A psychiatrist can't simply lock someone up in a psych ward just because another person---even an officer of the law---claims they're "agitated" or "emotionally disturbed."
Schoolcraft has since been vindicated in his whistleblower allegations: The 81st Precinct came under investigation and its top commanders have all been given departmental charges and/or been transferred.
Which makes it look all the worse for psychiatrists Isakov and Aldana-Bernier.
Source: "Cop who made tapes accuses NYPD of false arrest," Associated Press, October 9, 2010; Coleen Long, Tom Hays, "'What is this, Russia?" Cop claims NYPD had him committed for being a whistleblower," MSNBC.com, October 10, 2010; Len Levitt, "Adrian Schoolcraft: Now it's getting serious," Huffington Post, January 31, 2011 and Rocco Parascandola, "Brooklyn's 81st Precinct probed by NYPD for fudging stats; felonies allegedly marked as misdemeanors," New York Daily News, February 2, 2010.
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