Showing posts with label Washington. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Washington. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Senior Center kicked out veterans and told seniors to do pledge in closet!

Todd Starnes: Seniors told to pledge allegiance to the flag -- in a closet

FOX News
By Todd Starnes
July 15, 2019

“The first person to receive a trespass notice walked into the center carrying his flag and was told, ‘This is your warning. If you try to say the pledge you will be escorted off the property by the sheriff,’” Miss Minnie told me. “He did receive a trespass notice.”
A raging battle over prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance at a Washington State community center took an ugly turn when military veterans were thrown off the property and elderly patriots were told to recite the pledge inside a closet.

The board of directors at the Mullis Community Senior Center on San Juan Island decided to revise its lunchtime program by removing the traditional prayer and the recitation of the pledge.

The center’s executive committee blamed the prayer and the pledge for a decline in attendance, as I mentioned on the "Todd Starnes Radio Show" Podcast.

“We discovered that many of the incoming seniors were uncomfortable with an introductory ceremony where the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer were recited,” they wrote in a letter to the San Juan Islander.

The senior center went on to say they had a “duty to provide a safe and peaceful environment in our building and on our property, inclusive to all.”

Minnie Kynch, a longtime member of the community center, told me that a majority of the citizens staged a rebellion and decided to show and recite the flag in spite of the rule. So then, the operators of the community center decided to play hardball.
read it here

Monday, May 20, 2019

Four widowed Police Officers' wives speak to #BreakTheSilence

Widows Of Police Suicide Speak Out

May 18, 2019
Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday

More police officers now die by suicide than in the line of duty. NPR's Scott Simon talks with the widows of four officers who took their own lives about losing their husbands to suicide.

There is a suicide crisis in the United States. We're going to talk about it frankly, and our story may disturb some listeners. If you feel you're in a crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255.

The national suicide rate has increased by nearly 30 percent since 1999 in this blessed America. There are now more than twice as many suicides in the United States as homicides. Many involve drugs, drinking or depression, losing a job, a loved one, or stress. But experts say there is no one, two or 10 causes.

We have a story today to begin a series of reports about some of the people touched by suicide.
SIMON: Seven Chicago police officers have taken their own lives in the past 12 months. Father Brandt goes out to crime scenes and station houses if officers feel the need to talk to a priest, if not a therapist. Across the country, at least 159 officers died by suicide in 2018.

Kristen Clifford's husband was Officer Steven Clifford of the Nassau County, N.Y., police. They had just gotten a puppy. They looked forward to having children. One day in May 2017, he wasn't responding to her text messages, so she drove home.

Melissa Swailes was married to Officer David Swailes of the Los Angeles Police Department. They had four sons. David Swailes had symptoms of post-traumatic stress from his time in the U.S. Navy. On their youngest son's second birthday, Melissa Swailes came home and found her husband behind their bathroom door.

Erin Gibson was married to Sergeant Clinton Gibson of the Liberty Lake, Wash., police. They were high school sweethearts. They had four children.

Nicole Rikard had recently married Officer John Rikard of the Asheville, N.C., police. He was a recovering alcoholic, but he drank the night he took his life. She got a phone call from one of his lieutenants.
read the rest here

Friday, April 19, 2019

Veterans Memorial Park taken over by homeless

Port Angeles considers fencing off Veterans Memorial Park from the homeless

King 5 News
Author: Eric Wilkinson
April 19, 2019

Police calls to Veterans Memorial Park in Port Angeles have skyrocketed and residents say they no longer feel safe.

At Veterans Memorial Park in Port Angeles, a replica of the Liberty Bell is defaced with graffiti. The park is teeming with garbage. Nearby residents say they no longer feel safe.

"This can be a horrific mess of trash and human waste," said Karen Rogers. "We have needles, illicit sex acts. This is a school bus route, for crying out loud!"

Rogers is a former mayor of Port Angeles. Her son is an Iraq War veteran. To her, seeing the memorial this way just isn't right.

"This place, to me, is the heart of service," she said. "We honor those who have served our country. We honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice."

The situation has grown much worse over the past three years with the opioid epidemic. Police calls to the park have skyrocketed.
read more here

Unclaimed veterans laid to rest in Washington

Unclaimed veterans' remains put to rest with dignity and honor

by Julia Espinoza
April 18th 2019

PASCO, Wash. -- Remains of 21 veterans left unclaimed by loved ones are being honored with a proper burial at the Washington State Veterans cemetery in Medical Lake.

On Thursday, a service took place before the ride, honoring fallen heroes with a poem, folding of flag and the pledge of allegiance.

“It’s part of the veteran brotherhood no brother or sister left behind they deserve full military honors and they should not be forgotten,” said John Fish, Ride Coordinator.

The Missing in America Project is a program that helps locate, identify and provide a proper burial for fallen heroes.
read more here

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Spokane firefighter battles PTSD

‘Facing the monster’: Spokane firefighter battles PTSD

The Spokesman Review
Megan Rowe
March 3, 2019
“It turned out to be a very difficult recovery from the injury. A lot of pain, sleepless nights, strong medication. … Somewhere in that process, all of the events I’ve witnessed over the years and all the sadness just flooded back to me.” Lou Franchino
Not long ago, had you asked Lou Franchino, a Spokane firefighter for 23 years, if he would ever return to work, he would have said no.
He was experiencing extended bouts of insomnia. While awake, he described a near-constant state of anxiety. Traumatic calls flashed through his head at a breakneck pace: People who shot themselves in front of their family members, people who died in fires, from sudden infant death syndrome or a heart attack at a family dinner. Franchino was having breakdowns, erupting into tears at a moment’s notice. He felt trapped as a car passenger.

“It’s like being on anxious, high alert, all day long, 24 hours a day, you just can’t turn it off,” Franchino said. “And you talk to yourself like ‘Come on, calm down, you’re safe, everything’s fine.’ You can’t turn it off.”

Franchino sought answers from multiple doctors and everyone arrived at the same conclusion: Franchino was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Luckily for Franchino, Washington legislators passed a law last March which allowed him – and all other first responders – to receive treatment through workers’ compensation. A similar bill is expected to be signed in Idaho by Gov. Brad Little.
read more here

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The War Within, batteling PTSD

If the title sounds familiar, it should. PBS had it! Also reminder, as more and more publicity comes out for our Afghanistan and Iraq veterans, Vietnam veterans are not only responsible for all the research, openness to #BreakTheSilence they are also still suffering but no one is paying attention to the fact that the majority of known veterans committing suicide, are in fact, over the age of 50!
War Within was filmed in 1990
Special | 29m 1s
Documentary consisting of powerful interviews with veterans who returned from Vietnam physically intact but emotionally scarred. Veterans pay tribute to their friends who died in war and fellow soldiers who helped them in wartime battles and continue to help them in battles with PTSD.
Aired: 11/11/10
Rating: NR

Local Marine veteran takes part in documentary series about PTSD

King 5 News
Author: Su Ring, Helen Smith
February 7, 2019
Former Marine Scott Whistler was featured in a Facebook Watch series about veterans dealing with the aftermath of their military service.
SEATTLE — According to the VA, between eleven to twenty percent of veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan live with post-traumatic stress and other mental health issues, whether they've seen active combat or not. A new Facebook Watch series "The War Within" profiles three veterans living with PTSD in the aftermath of their Military service. One of those veterans is Scott Whisler, a former US Marine living in Tacoma, Washington. Whisler was diagnosed with PTSD after his deployment to Afghanistan.

However, Whisler was able to find an opportunity for leadership and connection through a running and fitness club Team Red, White and Blue. Whisler joins New Day Northwest to talk about his participation in the documentary and his life after coming home.
read more here

Saturday, December 1, 2018

VA Help Desk Closing in Washington

Veterans Benefits Administration to close office’s help desk

NOVEMBER 30, 2018
The administration estimates the help desk assisted an average of 180 veterans each month with benefit-related queries.
The Veterans Benefits Administration is shutting down a help desk inside its Bremerton office that's staffed with employees who assist veterans with benefit-related queries.

The Kitsap Sun reports the office, as of Friday, will no longer be a place where veterans can receive in-person assistance with navigating through the Department of Veterans Affairs' pension and compensation system.

A statement from the Veterans Benefits Administration says its decision to downsize operations at the office "was made in line with the Agency's goal to be strong fiscal stewards of the taxpayer funds entrusted to us."
read more here

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sailors from U.S.S. Ingersoll meets family they saved...30 years ago

Navy heroes reunited with family they rescued at sea 37 years ago

K5 NBC News
Author: Jake Whittenberg
November 12, 2018
A Kent family spent a decade looking for the sailors that rescued them at sea more than 30 years ago. They were surprised to find their heroes living in the same state.
It's not every day you get to say thank you to someone for saving your life. But at a small Vietnamese restaurant in Vancouver, Washington, the day has finally come.

Anne and Elaine Huynh, along with their parents Kay and Hoa, spent the past decade searching for any of the Navy sailors that helped rescue them in the South China Sea decades ago.

"America is our heaven on earth. It's as close as it gets," said Anne. "They gave us a chance to live heaven on earth and we just want to tell them that."

On October 11, 1981, Dale Joliffe, freshly enlisted in the Navy, was the lone lookout about the U.S.S. Ingersoll. Just before dawn, Joliffe remembers seeing something off in the distance.
It was the Huynh family, along with 40 others, packed into a small boat adrift at sea. The group was fleeing the communist government of Vietnam years after the fall of Saigon. Rations on board the ship were running low.

"My father said, 'By the grace of God, we're going to do this. If we live we live, if we perish we perish together,'" said Anne. "There were so many ships that actually passed us. Six to be exact." Then, when it appeared all hope was lost, the U.S.S. Ingersoll came near.
read more here

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Vietnam Veteran Warns Others of Mile High Singles

Colorado veteran charged nearly $10,000 by dating service

FOX 31 News
NOVEMBER 5, 2018

DENVER -- Vietnam War Veteran Wesley James Nelson says he didn't want to be alone, so he turned to an agency called Mile High Singles to find love.

The company is run by Sheryl McDowell. Nelson says, “she called herself the Love Doctor and I'd have a personal concierge to take care of me as if I would be in a five-star resort. I’d be meeting really classy ladies.”

Nelson showed his bill, which featured a program fee of $8,995 plus other costs totally totaling $9,114, he says.

"I about fell over I told her I can't afford this then boy she really laid it on.” Then, Nelson charged the fee on his credit card. He says he never went on one date.

Others have come forward to lodge complaints. An investigation in 2017 revealed Mile High Singles changed its name from Great Expectations after being investigated by attorneys general in Washington and Arizona.
read more here

Monday, October 15, 2018

Husband wants answers after Navy LT. wife died after childbirth

Widower takes on ban on military injury claims to Supreme Court

Kaiser Health News (Tribune News Service)
Published: October 14, 2018

Walter Daniel, a former Coast Guard officer, holds a photograph of his wife, Navy Lt. Rebekah Daniel, known as "Moani"; She died hours after giving birth to their daughter, Victoria, at the Naval Hospital Bremerton. HEIDI DE MARCO/KAISER HEALTH NEWS VIA TNS
More than four years after Navy Lt. Rebekah Daniel bled to death within hours of childbirth at a Washington state military hospital, her husband still doesn’t know exactly how — or why — it happened.

Walter Daniel, a former Coast Guard officer, demanded explanations from officials at the Naval Hospital Bremerton, where his wife, known as “Moani,” died on March 9, 2014.

He says he got none. No results from a formal review of the incident, no details about how the low-risk pregnancy of a healthy 33-year-old woman — a labor and delivery nurse herself — ended in tragedy, leaving their newborn daughter, Victoria, now 4, without a mom.

“There was no timeline, no records of what steps were taken,” recalled Daniel, 39, sitting in his Seattle lawyer’s high-rise office last month. “I’ve had no answers.”
read more here

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Survivors of Navy Yard shooting settle lawsuits

She was sure she was about to die at Navy Yard, and five years later has built a new life
Washington Post
Anne E Marimow
September 15, 2018
The anniversary comes as a group of victims’ relatives and survivors, including Stultz, have reached settlements in their negligence lawsuits against two private companies that employed Alexis, who was fatally shot by police who flooded the scene. The agreements close a chapter for the 15 plaintiffs who went to federal court in Washington seeking a combined $189 million in claimed damages.
Lori Lee Stultz no longer works at the Washington Navy Yard, where she escaped a mass shooting in 2013. She now runs a linens company that she credits with helping her heal. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
When the first shots were fired inside Building 197 at the Washington Navy Yard, Lori Lee Stultz huddled beneath a desk with two colleagues, gripping their hands and trying to stay quiet, certain they’d be killed.

All around her, glass shattered, fire alarms blared, desk phones rang incessantly, and a colleague screamed, “Help me!”

The shooter, Aaron Alexis, gunned down 12 Navy civilian personnel and contractors that morning in September 2013, including too many of Stultz’s friends and colleagues from 15 years at the Navy Yard.

Stultz, of Arlington, and about 20 other survivors from Building 197 plan to gather Sunday to mark five years since the mass shooting.

“You become part of a strange community that no one else understands. We’re not crying; we’re just remembering,” Stultz said. “You can’t really talk to other people about it. It’s just upsetting, and they don’t know what to say.”
read more here

Monday, July 23, 2018

Fire Captain Lost Battle With PTSD

Missing Orting firefighter who suffered from PTSD found dead
JULY 22, 2018

ORTING, Wash. — A member of the Orting Fire Department who suffered from PTSD was found dead Sunday. Captain Art Vazquez had been missing since Saturday.

“It’s with a heavy heart that Orting Valley Fire and Rescue and the International Association of Firefighters Local 4459 announce the passing of one of our beloved members, Captain Art Vazquez,” Orting Valley Fire and Rescue said on Facebook.

The post went on to say Vazquez “took his own life as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”
read more here

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital Extra Mile Treats PTSD

Health care program for military, families is only 1 in state
Herald Net
By Stephanie Davey
Saturday, June 16, 2018
The hospital won’t turn a veteran away who might not have access to health care, Crockett said. If the person is homeless, they would be connected with Veteran Affairs offices in Seattle, and get help finding a place to stay.

SMOKEY POINT — People have traveled from as far as Okinawa, Japan to receive care here in Snohomish County.

The Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital now has a unit specializing in mental health care for those in the military. There’s no other program like it in the state.

The Extra Mile Military Care center opened in February, and earlier this month was dedicated in honor of retired Army Master Sgt. Leroy Petry. The ceremony was on the 74th anniversary of D-Day.

The hospital has been open for one year.

Veterans, current service members and their families can all use the program. All its staff have some sort of connection to the military, whether they’re a veteran themselves or they’ve worked closely with the community, said Matt Crockett, Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital CEO.

The program follows guidelines from the U.S. Department of Defense and Veteran Affairs. Practitioners use evidence-based care to treat disorders such as addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder.
read more here

Monday, May 14, 2018

Missing Sailor's Body Found in Olympic National Forest

Missing Navy Sailor Found Dead a Week After Disappearing During Hike
Fox News
By Katherine Lam
14 May 2018

A missing Navy sailor was found dead Saturday, about a week after he vanished on a hike in Washington state, authorities said.
Jeremiah Adams, 24, was found dead Saturday after vanishing on May 4 during a hike. (Clallam County Sheriff’s Office)
The remains of Jeremiah Adams, 24, who was stationed on USS Nimitz, was located by a group of hikers on the Gray Wolf Trail in Sequim, Q13FOX reported. Authorities said the body was found at the bottom of a ravine.

Adams was reported missing after he left for a day hike on May 4, at Olympic National Forest. His friends got worried when the sailor didn't show up for another hike the next day.
read more here

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Airman Reddit and saved suicidal "brother"

Airman intervenes after Reddit post, saves life of suicidal Air Force member
Published: May 1, 2018
In Georgia, the airman’s spouse and command thanked Woomer and Collins for intervening. Had they not stepped in, officials said, the airman could have left behind a spouse and two children under the age of 10.
Telephone number of the Veteran's Crisis Line is shown on this tag. The intervention of a rookie Office of Special Investigations officer on Reddit last week may have saved an airman's life.

Online commenters worried about privacy might not like the idea of special agents among readers in online forums, but last week an Office of Special Investigations rookie on Reddit may have saved a fellow airman’s life after noticing signs of distress in a message board frequented by airmen.

On the social media site’s section for the Air Force, Senior Airman Charles Woomer noticed a subtle cry for help among posts complaining about LeaveWeb and inquiring about making the transition to the Guard and Reserve. Others did, too, according to an OSI statement issued Friday, but Woomer took action.

A poster asked how his group life insurance policy would pay out if “something” happened before he separated from the military. The person — he would turn out to be a suicidal husband and father — wanted to make sure his family would be comfortable.

Woomer, a special agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 322 at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., was one of several “Redditors” who noticed a worrisome tone in the post. He notified his leadership, and with guidance from Senior Airman Justin Collins, he contacted officials with Reddit and Google to identify the original poster.

“These people literally saved my life this week,” wrote the user, who goes by the handle psychopete. “Today I scheduled myself for therapy and I’m active in an online support group at least until my first session. I won the battle and I’m prepped for war. I’m gonna make it.
read more here

Friday, April 6, 2018

Twenty22Many "success story" suicide?

According to Facebook page the veteran served in Afghanistan, not Iraq, as reported by the Olympian.

Seems there are a lot of things wrong with this report. The thing that jumped out when I first read this, was the comment that Patrick Seifert, founder of Twenty22Many made, “He was one of our success stories.” 

I doubt those who are now grieving for him view this as a success story. The group identified him to the reporter before his family had been contacted. The press released his name. 

The veteran, must have needed a lot more help if his life ended because of something as simple as this, "According to witnesses, several people were arguing on the sidewalk when the disagreement turned physical. Police say a man who intervened was confronted by the shooter, who fired “several times” before turning the gun on himself."

Someone else tried to break up the fight but the veteran is the one who shot at others and then, the final bullet, directed at himself. Did anyone in the group know he needed a lot more help than he was getting?

Friends surprised Iraq War veteran was involved in downtown Olympia shooting
The Olympian
Abby Spegman
April 6, 2018

The man who shot another man and then killed himself in downtown Olympia on Tuesday is being remembered as an easygoing and quiet Iraq War veteran by those who knew him.

Patrick Seifert fondly recalls fellow veteran Jon Harding as he wears camouflaged covering Harding used to keep warm while sleeping. Steve Bloom

They also say he carried a gun and wasn’t hesitant to let people know he was armed.

“He was one of our success stories,” Patrick Seifert, founder of Twenty22Many, a local veterans suicide prevention group, said of Jon Harding, 31. “He will be missed, I'm telling you. He was awesome, and he was a huge part of our mission of helping veterans.”

Police say the shooting Tuesday night outside Burial Grounds coffee shop on Fifth Avenue Southeast appears to have been random.

According to witnesses, several people were arguing on the sidewalk when the disagreement turned physical. Police say a man who intervened was confronted by the shooter, who fired “several times” before turning the gun on himself.

He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to the Thurston County Coroner’s Office, which had not released the man’s name as of Thursday because officials hadn’t yet located his next of kin. However, friends identified the man as Harding.
read more here

Sunday, January 7, 2018

VA Lawsuit: Tacoma VA

A Tacoma veteran died waiting for heart surgery from the VA. His family has sued

The News Tribune
Alexis Krell
January 7, 2017

He was diagnosed with aortic stenosis, a hereditary narrowing of his aortic valve. The VA put him on a surgical wait list to get a new one, and then sent him home. He learned June 24 that his surgery would be July 5. On July 1, he died at home.

A Tacoma veteran who needed a new heart valve died after a Department of Veterans Affairs medical center waited too long to do his surgery, his widow’s lawsuit says.
George Walker was 75 when he died at home July 1, 2016 — days before he was scheduled for surgery at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, and a little more than a week after doctors knew he needed the operation, the complaint says.
“They absolutely shouldn’t have sent him home,” said attorney Jessica Holman Duthie, who represents the family.
After Walker’s death, his wife found paperwork that shows he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal in 1967 — things he didn’t talk about, she said. 
He worked for almost 30 years as the foreman of a forklift shop at a Seattle warehouse, where his blue coveralls and white beard earned him the nickname Papa Smurf.
read more here

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Female Firefighter, Mentor, Died on Christmas

Dedicated Lacey firefighter, dead at 40, was passionate role model for girls
Seattle Times
By Paige Cornwell
Seattle Times staff reporter
January 1, 2018

Crystal Murphy, a Lacey firefighter who mentored hundreds of girls interested in the fire service, died on Christmas Day. She was 40.

Crystal Murphy, who made her mark as an advocate for diversity in the fire service, died at 40 on Christmas Day. (Courtesy of Camp Blaze)
Lacey Fire District 3, where Murphy was a firefighter and EMT for nine years, announced her death earlier this week. Her cause of death was not released.

“She was a very, very dedicated public servant and a role model for firefighters, particularly women, in the fire service everywhere,” Lacey Fire Chief Steve Brook said Friday.

Murphy was known for her work as an advocate for diversifying the fire service. Nationally, about 4 percent of firefighters are women, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Murphy wanted to change that.

“Young girls aren’t taught that they can do a lot of things we do in the fire service,” said Kris Larson, a Los Angeles Fire Department battalion chief. “We wanted to show them that being a firefighter, which isn’t necessarily seen as a woman’s job, is an important passion.”
read more here

Friday, December 15, 2017

Airman Found Dead at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Air Force investigating death of airman found in dorm

Associated Press
December 14, 2017
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of an airman found in his dorm at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma.
The Air Force announced that Airman Cody Watt was found dead Tuesday just after noon.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

ACLU Fighting For Incarcerated PTSD Veteran

I was reading an article from The Stranger. Since I only track news and government reports, I did a search to see if this was real or not. It is. 

The following is from the ACLU
ACLU-WA Sues to Stop Pierce County from Abusing and Neglecting Incarcerated Individuals Experiencing Mental Illness
December 5, 2017

The ACLU of Washington today filed a class-action lawsuit against Pierce County for refusing to provide necessary treatment to people with mental illness in the Pierce County Jail and subjecting them to illegal restraint and isolation practices. As a result of these unlawful actions, people with mental illness suffer unnecessarily while in the jail, and can spend years cycling in and out of the criminal justice system.

“It’s cruel, counterproductive, and illegal for jails to refuse people experiencing mental illness the treatment they need,” said ACLU-WA Equal Justice Works Fellow Jessica Wolfe.

“Pierce County punishes people for their mental illnesses while at the same time refusing to provide basic mental health services. These policies and practices cause significant psychological harm and contribute to a revolving door of incarceration that is both costly and ineffective,” Wolfe said.

Filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on behalf of people experiencing mental illnesses incarcerated in Pierce County Jail, the lawsuit—Bango et. al v. Pierce County—asserts that people are forced to wait months to see a mental health provider face-to-face, experience significant delays in receiving necessary medications, and are denied basic mental health services, despite repeated requests for treatment.

As a result, their mental illnesses progress unchecked, leading to hallucinations, delusions, and an increased risk of self-harm. Pierce County then punishes people experiencing mental health crises by placing them in solitary confinement, using eyebolts to chain their legs and arms to the concrete floor, and leaving them in restraint chairs for hours on end. Pierce County perpetuates this vicious cycle by releasing people directly into the community without a supply of their psychiatric medications. Due to their untreated illnesses, many will end up back at the Jail.

The suit was filed on behalf of two plaintiffs with mental illness who have suffered serious harm due to the Pierce County’s abusive practices and failure to provide treatment: Donald Bango served in the US military for 15 years and has received a Bronze Star and a Meritorious Service Medal. Mr. Bango was medically retired from the military due to mental health issues stemming from the violence he witnessed during his service in Iraq. He has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder, and panic disorder. 
As a result of his mental illnesses, Mr. Bango experiences visual and auditory hallucinations, delusions, and flashbacks. Mr. Bango’s mental health has deteriorated significantly since his booking into the Pierce County Jail due to Defendants’ unwillingness to provide medically necessary psychiatric medications, access to mental health providers, and other basic mental health services. 
Defendants have also placed Mr. Bango in solitary confinement and left him naked and alone in a cell with his arms handcuffed behind his back. Despite Mr. Bango’s ongoing concerns about falling into further mental health crisis or psychosis, his requests for psychiatric medications have repeatedly been denied by Defendants, who have informed him that he did “not meet the requirements” for mental health care and told him to stop requesting services. 
Scott Bailey has been diagnosed with major depression, experiences anxiety, and has a history of suicide attempts. Mr. Bailey has been incarcerated at the Pierce County Jail approximately eight times, dating back to 1999. Defendants have routinely failed to adequately screen Mr. Bailey’s mental health conditions, mental health history, or use of psychiatric medications. Further, Defendants have failed to provide him with timely access to basic mental health services, despite his repeated requests. Defendants have responded to his pleas for help by informing him that the Jail was “not set up to do treatment” and denying him psychiatric medications and counseling. In lieu of treatment, Mr. Bailey received “mental health worksheets” instructing him to get enough sleep and exercise more.

Pierce County’s failure to appropriately supervise the Jail to prevent the abuse of the most vulnerable in their care is unlawful and inhumane. “The goal of the lawsuit is to compel Pierce County to do what they refuse to do: ensure incarcerated individuals with mental illness are treated humanely and receive necessary mental health treatment and services,” says ACLU-WA Senior Staff Attorney Antoinette Davis.

The suit asserts Pierce County Jail violates the constitutional right to due process and the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, along with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.

Pierce County Jail’s policy and practices continue despite decades of notice about these problems, including prior litigation, Herrera v. County, brought by the ACLU-WA and others in 1995. In settlement of that suit, Pierce County was required to adopt constitutional medical care standards, policies, and procedures.

ACLU-WA Equal Justice Works Fellow Jessica Wolfe and Senior Staff Attorney Antoinette Davis and cooperating attorneys, Salvador Mungia and Janelle Chase-Fazio of Gordon Thomas Honeywell, are representing the Plaintiffs.