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Trial Begins Over Black Woman Unnecessarily Hospitalized Under Kendra's Law

A cop's disbelief of a Black woman driving a BMW lead her to being hospitalized as a mental health patient.

Kamilah Brock

A Black woman, who was irresponsibly and unnecessarily taken to a mental health facility, held against her will, misdiagnosed and "treated" for eight days, will finally have her day on court. The trial began on Monday.

Long Island professional banker, Kamilah Brock, was driving her 2003 BMW 325Cl through the streets of Harlem as she had done on most days. According to her account, Brock was stopped by a New York City police officer because she was suspected of being high on marijuana, even though no drugs were found in her vehicle, which was confiscated during the incident. That was brought on by her being stopped at a red light, dancing to the music which was playing in her car.

Brock was then taken into custody and driven to the 30th Precinct. She was held for several hours and finally released with no charges being filed. That interaction alone was enough for the successful banker to file a complaint.

However, her nightmare was just starting. The police told her to retrieve her car the following day. Apparently, the police didn't believe that a Black woman could drive a then 10-year-old BMW. She returned, and instead of being given her vehicle and an apology, Brock was then handcuffed and placed in an ambulance without any explanation. All the while, she still believed she was going to pick up her car, although EMS' presence didn't seem logical to her.

At that moment, the police had instituted what is known as Kendra's Law, a New York State law concerning involuntary outpatient commitment. Brock had no history of mental illness or any other incidences where the police should have made that call.

Because of the incompetence and blatant disregard for Brock's well-being, she was subjected to eight days of being poked and prodded, given psychotropic drugs like lithium and misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder while at Harlem Hospital, which is a part of the Columbia University Medical system.

According to her medical records, she attempted to explain who she was and even told them that former President Barack Obama followed her on Twitter. All of these things were easily verifiable but not one person took the time to do so.

Instead, she was given a protocol of treatment, which stated: "A master treatment plan with an objective: Patient will verbalize the importance of education for employment and will state that Obama is not following her on Twitter."

It also noted "patient's weaknesses: inability to test reality, unemployment."

Brock was eventually released and filed a suit against the NYPD, the state and the hospital who detained her against her will. She was also sent a $13K bill for "treatment" that she didn't need in the first place.

This was a gross misuse of authority, which probably would have not have gone this far had Brock been white.

As her trial starts, it's important to note that a study from 2009 by indicated that there was evidence of racial disparities among people, who were involuntarily admitted to mental health facilities under the law.

"Between 1999 and 2008, 35 percent of those with outpatient commitment orders have been African Americans, who make up 17 percent of the state's population, while 33 percent of the people on outpatient commitment have been whites, who make up 61 percent of the population. This has raised difficult questions: Does black New Yorkers' substantial overrepresentation amount to a true "disparity"? Is outpatient commitment being applied fairly?"

Even the New York Times wrote about what seemed to be racial inequalities in the application of Kendra's Law.

Her case along with racial bias was brought up in The Michigan Journal of Race and Law in 2015.

The Conversation (14)
Roy Staples07 Feb, 2019

This is another case of laws being misused to explain a lack of judgment on the part of police, and police making a racially motivated arrest of someone who dared to mix middle-class with being from a marginalized group.

votetocorrect07 Feb, 2019

She deserves to win millions and hace those responsible FIRED!

bekki layman06 Feb, 2019

Again Breathing While Black. But let a white man have a gun and they will tackle his ass. No im not playing the tace card im caucasion. Im saying i watch this shit all the time

Evelyn Miller06 Feb, 2019

WOW! All this because she was enjoying her music in her own car. She's fortunate to have survived this horrific ordeal and I hope she sues the freaking pants off anyone who was complicit in this crime against her, including Columbia University Medical system. BLM

07 Feb, 2019

Ditto on All comments

Michelle07 Feb, 2019

The so called doctor who misdiagnosed her should lose their license as well. That's true incompetence!

Rose Smith06 Feb, 2019

I would love to see the results of this trial. So much mistreatment of Black people in America.

Tracy Brooks07 Feb, 2019

She may win the law suit but you can hold your breath on anyone being held accountable for this, that type of belief is for those of you who have faith that this system works for us.

Piankhi08 Feb, 2019

These arbitrary and capricious 'Emergency Detention Orders (EDO's),' illegally kidnappng Blacks under 'Color of Authority of the Law,' often serve far more sinister purposes and sometimes have deadly endings! i.e.deep state police profiling to include blood and genetic typing, forensic investigation and crime data bank matching, body part donor compatibility, drug trial vaccination experimental guinea pig use, halcyon or other chemical brain/mental alteration and markings under 'Color of Authority' to subdue, falsely alleged, violent or self harming behaviour. A subversive extension of supremacist's continuing conquest, eugenics, and institutonal population control: ex slave era De Facto "En Loco Parentis."

Mona12 Feb, 2019

I couldn't believe this story; I said to myself, "what did she do?"....I just didn't understand it....but thank you PAINKHI...I now understand it completely....SINISTER....white people are always 100 miles ahead with planning. From stealing and developing land to health, the is always a plan whereby blacks and other minorities are on the losing side.

Rob12 Feb, 2019

Ginny Murphy12 Feb, 2019

Just about the same thing happened to my husband in Texas. He's 71 and went for a physical at the doctors , he was feeling a little bit down because of his health issues and all the meds he has to take. Next thing I know, the police call me to say they've taken him to a mental health facility to be evaluated and would be let out soon. Which turned into 48hrs., then 72hrs. They would not let him out. I ,his wife had limited visitation. One hour every other day. He's never had mental issues. I read the reviews on this hospital and found out they like to keep you till your insurance is exhausted. I had to get a lawyer and verbally threatened to expose them to the media and news. They finally released him after 7 days . They threatened him saying they could use shock treatments on him or send him to the State mental hospital indefinitely. I fought this with a lot of threats till they let him out. He had someone fighting for him. I feel sorry for the ones that don't and are considered easy to take advantage of.

Rob11 Feb, 2019

I think we are only hearing part of the story. I can see the police abusing their power, or a psychiatrist making a mistake early in the evaluation hospital. However, do you really think that Columbia physicians and Harem hospital (where 1 of 2 of the inpatient psychiatrists is an African American woman, and I am guessing they are not unfamiliar with the concept of successful African American women in general) would hold someone for eight days who didn't show symptoms of severe mental illness? This is a public, teaching hospital. Such facilities have multiple layers of oversight. Also, due to being overwhelmed, this type of hospital tends much more toward discharging those with ongoing symptoms (as long as they aren't dangerous) rather than keeping patients for extended periods. They have to as a matter of practically. Even if a patient were delusional, falsely believing that she had a job and that the president followed her on twitter, this, by itself, would not be criteria for admission. Perhaps there really was a gross mistake, but I'm thinking that this article is presenting a very biased view of things.

patty10 Feb, 2019

I just really wish blacks would unite and fight/ki*& these savages, or buy a country just for themselves and literally stay away from these killing, raping fuckin savage scum forever!

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Harris tweeted on Thursday:

Congress has tried more than 200 times to pass an anti-lynching law, but has failed. The Senate passed a resolution in 2005, apologizing to lynching victims.

The bipartisan bill acknowledges the harms of lynching, which is a form of domestic terrorism, and the federal government's failure to stop it.

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In December, the Senate also passed the bill. But it was days before the 115th Congress went out of business, and the measure never reached the House floor.

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According to the NAACP, "From 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States."

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