It turns out that protesters blocking a state highway may not have prevented an ambulance crew from getting a “critically ill” patient to the hospital, after all — at least as the ambulance company tells it.
The state police are sticking by the allegation that such an incident occurred.
That allegation has emerged as a central talking point amid debate over protest tactics and police response to a demonstration staged Saturday in downtown New Haven by people opposed to President Donald Trump’s executive orders limiting immigration and travel to the U.S.
At one point protesters blocked the Route 34 Connector, in the path to Yale-New Haven Hospital. State police, after arresting a protest organizer on charges including incitement to riot, stated that the Route 34 demonstrators had “obstructed an ambulance carrying a critically ill patient. Due to this delay ambulance personnel were required to perform an emergency medical procedure in the ambulance instead of at the hospital.” (The above video shows scenes from the protest and includes the headline repeating the ambulance allegation.)
Asked at the time by the Independent for more details on the matter and whether the patient in the ambulance was OK, a state police spokeswoman responded, “Contact the hospital.” A hospital spokesman said he did not have information.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for American Medical Response said the company knew of no such emergency procedure being undertaken in one of its ambulances at the scene Saturday.
“Nothing happened. Really, nothing happened,” said the spokesman, Jim McManus.
Asked where the story may have originated, he responded, “I don’t know.”
He issued this written statement on behalf of AMR: “On Saturday, during the protest in New Haven, we worked closely with law enforcement officials who kept us well informed of the protest and specific areas that were congested. With police assistance, we were able to route our ambulances away from difficult intersections and did not experience any AMR ambulances being blocked as a result. We are unsure if other ambulance companies had difficulty with the protest.”
Told of the AMR response, Christine Plourde of the state police legal affairs unit stuck by the original story.
She said a charge nurse at Yale-New Haven — a front-line care manager — contacted the state police at some point after demonstrators assembled on Route 34 around 4:30 and formed a line blocking traffic toward the hospital. She told the state police about the critically ill patient stuck there. She said she can’t reveal the nature of the critical illness because of privacy rules.
Plourde said the incident did involve an AMR ambulance. Asked why the company is saying otherwise, she responded, “Maybe they don’t want to be involved. I don’t know.”
That was one of several controversial moments at Saturday’s demonstration.
State police are investigating what happened after that blocking of the the highway. After protesters moved off state property up to Chapel Street, state police pursued the organizer and arrested him with the help of pepper spray and police canines. One of the dogs ended up attacking three cops.
City officials, including the police chief and the mayor, have since questioned whether state police made people less safe, rather than safer, by using pepper spray and police canines in a chaotic crowd to pursue the arrest of a nonviolent person on a nonviolent charge. An attorney present to represent protesters called it “a police riot.”
The state police are also reviewing why one of their canines attacked three cops, biting two of them and ripping the clothing of a third.
posted by: Anderson Scooper on February 8, 2017 8:55am
I’m a Democrat. I’m against deportations, and I’m in favor of amnesty and a path to citizenship.
However I’m definitely not for “open borders”, nor a semi-permanent sub-class of undocumented workers. I believe that the status quo, with its huge pool of off-the-books labor, undermines basic worker protections, lowers wages and increases the unemployment rate. Why are we allowing so many people to work without “papers”?
As an American, I am ready for the Social Security card to be turned into a National ID card, (maybe with a fingerprint), that could also double as a Voter ID. I believe that with such a card, we could toughen up penalties for employers who use off-the-books labor, with jail time for anyone who abuses an undocumented worker. (And of course we would need to bring those already here into the system.)
I believe a majority of Americans agree with my position on these issues.
But what is the official Democratic position on this issue? Does Chris Murphy or Rosa DeLauro even suggest a solution? Do they realize they sound as if they’re for the status quo, i.e. “open borders”?
And to the protestors you’re offering nothing except an attitude that you feel you have the right to be breaking American law. At the least could you start chanting, “Immigration reform now!”?
This is one messed-up situation, no doubt. But it would help if the Left could propose actual solutions instead of just railing against our clown President. fwiw.
posted by: nib1 on February 8, 2017 9:11am
This is terrible especially all of those people that commented against the protesters blocking a fictitious ambulance. Not only are the State Police lying about the incident, what does the Governor have to say about this. Further, as I stated before in the previous protest story, Interim Police Chief Campbell also lied about not knowing about the incident however WFSB had a story to the contrary. http://www.wfsb.com/story/34427228/.
Again, in the previous protest article, he threw his intelligence unit under the bus and refrained from criticizing the State Police for using “dogs and pepper spray on a nonviolent crowd”. There is no excuse from administrators and especially law enforcement agencies.
posted by: alphabravocharlie on February 8, 2017 9:22am
That should be easy enough to verify. FOI the CSP communications recordings around that time.
posted by: MarkS on February 8, 2017 9:34am
Disinformation is such a classic police tactic. With the recent leaked FBI files about the pandemic of white supremacy groups infiltrating police departments is it really a surprise? We really gotta shut the new haven border to this people and start some extreme vetting, at least until we figure out whats really going on.
posted by: EPDP on February 8, 2017 9:49am
Sounds like a fake news story being spun by Christine Plourde, an attorney who works for the State of Connecticut, trying to shield the State from liability. Who is the charge nurse that Plourde refers to? The name of the charge nurse is not subject to any privacy rules. Paul Bass should file an FOI request to get this information. Ms. Plourde describes herself as “Legislative and Administrative Manager at the State of Connecticut,” on her linked in page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christine-plourde-5554ab6/ She is protecting the State of Connecticut by creating a legal fiction. She can later claim she doesn’t remember the name of the charge nurse. Welcome to the Donald Trump era.
posted by: 1644 on February 8, 2017 10:15am
No one has claimed any ambulance was prevented from getting to the hospital, just delayed. AMR’s statement, “With police assistance, we were able to route our ambulances away from difficult intersections ...” implies that the most direct routes to the hospitals were blocked, and that, in fact, more than one ambulance was delayed due to the protests. Even if no emergency vehicles were delayed in the 30 minutes the street was blocked, the potential was certainly there, and an urgent need to clear the roadway existed. That, of course, is not to mention that fact that many of the protestors were masked, indicating an intent to riot, as happened in Berkeley and DC. I also have to wonder about the “Emma Goldman” who commented here earlier. Such a pseudonym indicates a promotion of violent, even murderous, criminal propaganda of the deed.
posted by: breakingbad23 on February 8, 2017 10:29am
Did you also contact the 3 or 4 other ambulance services as well as the municipalities who have their own ambulances? [Paul: The state police identified the company as AMR.]
posted by: TheMadcap on February 8, 2017 10:38am
“This is one messed-up situation, no doubt. But it would help if the Left could propose actual solutions instead of just railing against our clown President. fwiw.”
Literally both under the last president who was a democrat and under the Republican before him The left offered up and ralled behind a plan. Stop trying to be smug.
posted by: Esbey on February 8, 2017 11:42am
@andersonscooper: we don’t have anything like “open borders.” In fact, Obama deported record numbers of people without documentation. In fact, there is vigorous enforcement at the borders. In fact, in many recent years there have been more people returning to Mexico than entering the US. The focus on the center-left is entirely on those who have been here for a long time, and especially their children who were brought here at a young age. Precisely so that we don’t get an “permanent underclass.”
Comprehensive Immigration Reform nearly passed the congress, with very broad support from Dems and (in the beginning) from Republicans like McCain and Rubio. But the “tea party” right killed it.
There is no question but that New Haven (and other cities) benefit tremendously from immigration and that our economy would suffer greatly without it. Our population is stagnant as it is, remove immigration and we will shrivel up and disappear. Who do you think is going to pay for your social security when you retire? Native-born folks aren’t having enough children to pay for your retirement, we need more young people, not fewer.
posted by: nib1 on February 8, 2017 12:24pm
@1644: I am certainly not arguing that the protesters should have blocked and intersection. Their actions were definitely a danger to all and I agree there should have been arrests but without the use of attack dogs. Even some of the largest protests I have seen have not involved attacked dogs. Pepper spray? YES. No one attacked the police and no one was destroying property. However, I also have issue with the fabricated statements by the State Police and Interim Police Chief. Those who voted for President Trump, including myself, did so because he was truthful and he “told it like it is”. I expect that from the State Police and our own New Haven Police Department. There is proof that many lies were told by both the State Police and NHPD. There was a rush to judgement by most of those who commented on this story, that the protesters prevented a woman from getting medical treatment. This was totally unfair and provides more validity to their claims.
posted by: Statestreeter on February 8, 2017 12:26pm
Who cares to what degree if any an ambulance was impeded from getting to the hospital. I say this from the perspective of whether or not these people’s behavior was justified. The fact is the impeded traffic and illegally assembled on a public highway. They also donned there masked, etc. to cover their faces to engage in this illegal behavior.
Regardless of the stupid exec orders that Trump puts out there is no justification for this behavior. The only thing worse is Mayor Harps support of it. When these fools start rioting down town and put a rock through the window that Harp is gleefully gazing through in admiration maybe that will jolt her ignorance.
I support some form of amnesty and a navigatable path towards citizenship for folks. I also support deporting criminals and securing the borders of our sovereign nation.
Paul please stop justifying this lawless behavior with nitpicking articles like this. The only problem bigger than these criminals are criminal pandering politicians like Toni Harp!
posted by: man1 on February 8, 2017 12:27pm
Blocking a main artery doesn’t only block ambulances going to the hospital. What about a mother bringing her child that has a respiratory aliment,or a broken arm from a fall at the playground. What about someone on their way to cancer treatment.You can go on with so many medical emergencies not transport by a visible ambulance with it’s lights and sirens.
These “protest” blocking traffic do no good for the cause,whatever it may be. I know when I see this on the news along with so many others it just makes myself & others angry at the situation that it takes away from the message and only alienates the whole protest from being productive.They knew they were blocking the main route to the hospital,you can hear someone say don’t block ambulances - but that completely doesn’t take any consideration for what I wrote in my first paragraph.So have your protest,jump up and down crying or what ever it maybe what you want to do,but stop making yourself out in a negative light.
posted by: Noteworthy on February 8, 2017 12:38pm
Don’t Care Notes:
1. It doesn’t matter if there was an ambulance or not. It doesn’t matter if an emergency procedure had to be performed or not.
2. The only thing that made any of these protesters less safe were the protesters themselves. From walking in the middle of Church Street to the blockade of 34, they had a callous disregard for the safety of others and dared anybody to hit them. If somebody had been hurt, imagine what these lawbreaking hotheads would have done.
3. For one second, consider how the drivers felt. Surrounded and threatened by an out of control crowd some wearing masks.
4. The constant drumbeat that the cops somehow did something wrong is grossly misplaced and while that fits in with the chronic whining of these folks and their supporters, it is just wrong.
5. What the police should have done is encircle the entire group - get a bunch of cars and vans parked nearby - and round them all up. Arrest every single one of them.
6. What’s happening to our city is that fewer of us want to come downtown for fear of kind of protest that is irrationally happening more and more. They are all getting more confrontational and needlessly so. What used to be in front of City Hall, now spills into the streets. What used to be on the Green now blocks downtown streets. Not good enough, now they’re blocking limited access highways.
7. I’ll say it again - quit harassing the people of this state and our community. You have a beef with Trump, take it to the White House. Go see Rosa - at her office or her palatial apartment. Go to DC. In short, go where you think your message will do some good but rest assured, your message has zero effect on people and motorists who can do nothing about it. We’re just ready to flip you off.
8. As for city officials - grow a pair and quit white washing this illegal behavior. Your coddling mentality is contributing to the problem. This riot could and should have been contained on Church. Failure made it worse.
posted by: Noteworthy on February 8, 2017 12:42pm
One more Mayoral note:
When running for mayor, somebody shot or broke the window in her family’s real estate office if I remember right. Promptly after becoming mayor, Ms. Harp promptly ordered up a new SUV and got an armed chauffeur, the cost of which far exceeds $100K a year. With all this threatening behavior going on - what do we get? Nothing but coddling of lawbreakers. Gee. Thanks.
posted by: Patricia Kane on February 8, 2017 12:45pm
While I look forward to refuting all the allegations made by both the State Police and the New Haven Police Dept. in court when the cases involving 2 protesters proceed, I cannot let the ongoing deliberate program of disinformation, commonly known as lying, to be continued without a response.
Officer David Hartman of the NHPD, and presumably with the approval of Chief Campbell, published a press release on February 7 which could result in prejudicing community opinion against my clients.
While simultaneously carrying out the CYA procedure of blaming the State Police for the police violence that occurred, the NHPD cooperated in those actions and now claims to be about keeping people “safe”.
As Mae West said, “Every time I meet a man who wants to protect me, I wonder who it is I need protecting from?”
The big lie is that the demonstration prevented any vehicle from proceeding to the hospital. In fact all the videos show a line of traffic that was opened up and vehicles moving in it.
The police could have shut down the demonstration by following the standard procedure of issuing a warning or warnings, at which time the protesters were prepared to leave. The Police - state and local - CHOSE to do nothing. They CHOSE to stand by without doing anything. They CHOSE to let the protest go on for 30 minutes without acting.
Why? Why didn’t they do their jobs?
And why did they participate in the illegal kettling of the group in the downtown when there were children alongside their parents?
Overall, it seems police dogs are often no better disciplined than human police.
As for this demonstration, certainly if the dog cannot be controlled, and this state dog either couldn’t be or wasn’t, it should not be used. Of course, had Lugo not wanted to fight against a “system” which consists of an illegal immigrant friendly city government and police force, city police could have been properly prepared. Pure idiocy on the part of the protesters.
posted by: preach-on on February 8, 2017 2:02pm
@Patricia Kane: “Officer David Hartman of the NHPD, and presumably with the approval of Chief Campbell, published a press release on February 7 which could result in prejudicing community opinion against my clients”. “They CHOSE to stand by without doing anything. They CHOSE to let the protest go on for 30 minutes without acting. Why? Why didn’t they do their jobs?
I totally agree with you. They police stood by and watched just like the people that were stuck in traffic. Also, many of those that have commented say it does not matter that there was no ambulance being blocked, what matters is that there were people blocking the highway. The point here is that the protesters have been lied on, which has caused the unfair animosity that many people have against them.
Both police departments were unruly and they were definitely not trained in riot control. The State Police and New Haven Police made up a story to make their actions justified. Now they just look very untrustworthy.
posted by: Noteworthy on February 8, 2017 2:14pm
Patricia Kane - You love lawbreakers. You can pick apart police procedure. You can knit pick all you want. What’s the difference between you playing the CYA music for these out of control people and the cops doing their thing? Your people including the defendants inciting a riot, doing the kabuki effigy dance with masks and sticks like some third world country and menacing drivers the whole time are solely to blame. Your constant defense of this criminal behavior - not in the court of law which is presumably where it belongs, but in the court of public opinion, where it holds far less weight, is directly aiding and abetting the growing problem.
These people are out of control and threatening people just trying to get through their day, take care of their families, get medical care and earn a living. We don’t want to be delayed, feel threatened, or have our freedoms infringed upon because your riotous bunch disagree with the president 300 miles south of us.
You should start advising your clients and potential clients on what not to do; how to behave since they seem to have no sense of right or wrong - in order not to be arrested.
As for the city - start doing your job. Start arresting the people breaking the law and quick being handmaidens of City Hall where a backbone and competence is nearly non-existent. I don’t want to live in a lawless community where the renegades control the streets.
posted by: larry-spalding on February 8, 2017 2:17pm
Thank you for posting this article. I was there and saw the protest, and there was no ambulance - only state and New Haven police attacking people on the sidewalk. This certainly isn’t the first time the police have had to fabricate something to create an excuse for their misconduct.
posted by: MarkS on February 8, 2017 4:52pm
Just wanted to throw out there that even MLK had a 25% public approval rate and critics of the day had the same things to say as the computer screen masked anti-activists whining on here.
Also the “Im for the cause but against the protest” is the equivalent to being against the cause. Protests are meant to cause confusion and chaos as they are an expression of the confusion and chaos some are being thrown into. You dont have to participate but dont be what MLK called the dangerous white moderate.
posted by: Anderson Scooper on February 8, 2017 5:22pm
When you have people who are breaking the law, (by being here, um, illegally), asking the rest of us to be understanding and merciful towards their situation,—Do you really think the best way to go about it is to break more laws by shutting down an arterial road near a hospital?
Saturday was an obvious win for Trump, and a loss for the vulnerable segment of society we would hope to protect.
Please wake up and smell the proverbial coffee.
posted by: Patricia Kane on February 8, 2017 5:51pm
“What’s the difference between you playing the CYA music for these out of control people and the cops doing their thing?”
Answer: the US Constitution, First Amendment. Check it out.
posted by: Nathan on February 8, 2017 6:08pm
I’m pleased to see so many rational people properly criticizing the actions of the protesters that blocked the streets. In additional to the problems caused by those actions, the protesters place themselves in harm’s way. God forbid someone should be injured or worse because of such foolish choices. Protest safely, for your own sake as well as others.
posted by: Noteworthy on February 8, 2017 9:30pm
Patricia Kane - you must have gotten a pass on Constitutional Law class. There is nothing in the Constitution that allows for breaking of laws, putting the lives and freedom of movement of others at risk or impediment. You and the lawless are free to express your views and play CYA. Go ahead. Do it on the Green; do it online or in front of City Hall. Do it in court. I don’t care. But you can’t take away the rights of others, guaranteed by the Constitution and decide that your rights of expression supersede those of others. The rights of your lawless end when they infringe on others.
MarkS - Read up on the Civil Rights movement, the laws of the land at the time, the lack of equality and voting rights. there is zero moral equivalency between this group and those who marched and protested back then. Give me a break and please read up on this important part of our history.
posted by: Ozzie on February 9, 2017 12:44pm
Nathan and Ms. Kane along with some other people who commented here are right but the Liberals on this site don’t care what a rational person thinks. They only care about their own agenda. People who mask up and hood up with dark glasses ( in the photographs in this article and the previous one ) are more likely to cause the majority of the problems at a demonstration because they can’t be identified and are professional protestors. You want to protest fine, but once you break the law you will reap the consequences ! P.S you Liberals have about 1400 more days and maybe an additional 4 years to stomp your feet and chant he’s not my President LOL.
posted by: junebugjune on February 9, 2017 12:49pm
With everything going on in this country and all the real threats to human life (end of the ACA, deportations that will separate families, extrajudicial police killings of unarmed citizens, the dismantling of our democracy and takeover of our government by over white supremacists, you are nitpicking how oppressed groups stand up for their rights and using a whitewashed version of history to try to make it look like MLK(a man who was maligned and nitpicked by people like you back in his day) and our ancestors who fought this kind of tyranny are testifying against them.
If you can’t be bothered to do your research, keep our ancestors names and legacies out of your mouth.
posted by: junebugjune on February 9, 2017 12:55pm
posted by: Anderson Scooper on February 8, 2017 5:22pm
“Saturday was an obvious win for Trump, and a loss for the vulnerable segment of society we would hope to protect.
Please wake up and smell the proverbial coffee.”
Anderson, who is we? Please think about how patronizing you sound. You hope to “protect” immigrants by maligning the actions the choose to protect themselves. If you can’t get behind the people you act like you’re so concerned about you are no ally to them. Targeted groups don’t need privileged people to swoop in and “protect” us. We need you to humble yourself and get behind us.
posted by: man1 on February 9, 2017 2:25pm
“But an attorney representing the protesters said police are responsible for problems at the demonstration, including the delay of the ambulance stuck in traffic. Attorney Patricia Kane said protesters had asked police to inform them if emergency vehicles needed to get through — and that officers didn’t do so. Kane said she has been told the patient was a woman in labor.”
So it looks like there was an ambulance involved,evn the protesters lawyer admits it. I think it was still a direct result of the road being blocked
Ok, so even if an Ambulance was not prevented, what about the people who were being taken to the hospital by a family member? I’m disappointed in this group who fight for people’s so called rights at the expense of other people’s rights. The very thing they claim to be fighting for , they deny to other when they block traffic. How can anyone in their right mind support these people?
posted by: Patricia Kane on February 9, 2017 3:02pm
@man1. I was repeating what a State Trooper told me. It was one of several stories they told, but all turned out not to be accurate.
posted by: greyhoundx on February 9, 2017 3:31pm
Yes, there was an AMR Ambulance. Here are 24 of the many photos I took on Saturday from City Hall to Rt 34, where I departed once that broke up. The AMR Ambulance can bee seen in photos 21-24. These photos are just to document the timeline accurately, the march, the blocking of Rt 34, and the police presence there, including that they weren’t in “riot” or “tactical” gear. I thought it was a good event until the blocking of Rt 34 went on and on and on. Not cool in my opinion. 5 - 10 minutes would have done it, then head back to City Hall. And if Rt 34 wasn’t blocked the State Police never would have gotten involved, just NHPD, who are used to this stuff. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1254423577974499.1073741828.174871189263082&type=1&l=f20a168eff
posted by: greyhoundx on February 9, 2017 4:21pm
Correction to my previous post: simple typo, the AMR Ambulance can be seen in photos 22-24, not 21-24.
posted by: 1644 on February 9, 2017 4:43pm
Grey: I also not that commentator Narcan said he witnessed an ambulance stuck in traffic. I wonder if Paul tried to contact that person. Again, no one has ever said any ambulance was prevented from getting to a hospital, only delayed, which was confirmed by AMR in saying ambulances. were re-routed.
BTW, Grey, why are you okay with blocking 34 for 10 minutes, but not 30? If blocking an ambulance route and endangering people for 10 minutes is good, wouldn’t you be happier with 30? I presume you want to block roads because disrupting and endangering others’ lives gets attention for your cause. More danger and disruption creates more attention.
posted by: greyhoundx on February 9, 2017 5:19pm
Actually 1644, my safety grade for the march would be a “D”. I went there not knowing exactly what would happen, but I felt it was good to attend. When people were just gathered in front of City Hall they were spilling out onto the street, even into the travel lane, at which point I thought the NHPD would come over a scoot people up onto the sidewalk for their own safety. Traffic, including city buses were moving into adjacent lanes to avoid the people wandering into the street. There were regular pedestrians that had to walk into the street to get around everyone. NHPD should have managed that better. As soon as the crowd moved into the street I thought one or two Police cars would show up to escort us. NHPD Officers saw us go into the street. When we were going down Church and the other streets un-escorted by Police or the March Safety Monitors the organizers should have provided, cars on the side streets, especially ones turning right, had little warning that there were 200+ J-Walkers in the street. There were a few ‘close calls’ - human flesh and car steel don’t mix well ! At one point they weren’t sure which way to go, I thought we were headed back to City Hall, not Rt 34. As for blocking Rt 34, I don’t think it should have been blocked, but that wasn’t my decision. For those that choose to do so, please, a brief temporary block will get your point across, get you noticed, but still not be worse than morning rush hour hopefully. I do not believe that peaceful protest, including civil disobedience, should harm innocent 3rd parties, that have in no way chosen to participate, much less risk their health and well being to the cause(s) being protested. People going to work were stuck there for 25+ minutes. If you’re willing to hurt anyone in anyway to get your point across, what makes you better than our enemies ? Do not become what you are against. Some thought, planning, and communication can to a lot to avoid negative situations and perceptions, like Saturday’s.
posted by: man1 on February 10, 2017 12:35pm
No matter how right you feel your cause is the law still BROKEN. What did they think the Police were going to do,Bring refreshments?