Friday, June 18, 2010

Mayor pulls plug on HPD vampire training

Houston Mayor Annise Parker pulled the plug on an HPD initiative to train officers to become licensed phlebotomists so they could draw blood from suspected drunk drivers. As part of their training through UTMB (University of Texas Medical Branch) and Lone Star College, seven Houston police officers first practiced drawing blood from artificial limbs, then each other and finally inmates in the psychiatric ward at Jester IV prison near Richmond. (See video.)

That's right, police officers practiced drawing blood from inmates in the psych ward of a state prison. Were the inmates informed that rank amateurs would be sticking them with needles? Were the inmates asked to consent to  being used in target practice? Did they select Jester IV so that none of the victims subjects would complain?

How far will this lunacy extend? What will the state do next to combat citizens from exercising their rights? What's the next step to ease the state's burden of proof in DWI prosecutions?

Why are motorists suspected of DWI presumed guilty?

It shouldn't be easy for the state to take away the liberty of a person accused of committing a crime. We shouldn't be bending over backwards to make it easier. Where are our "less government is better government" tea party-ites when we're talking about undermining our fundamental constitutional rights? Can you think of any type of government intrusion that is bigger than allowing the police to stick a needle in your arm just because they suspect you might have done something wrong?

Of course don't get too excited over Mayor Parker's actions. Her opposition wasn't the idea of setting vampire cops loose in the city, she didn't like the price tag of the program.

See also:

"Police train to draw suspects' blood," KPRC-TV (Nov. 11, 2009)

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