Recently, three incidents of state violence against people in need of healthcare have wracked Pennsylvania. Residents in physical and/or mental health crisis need medical attention, not police violence. These are only the most recent examples of our for-profit healthcare system discriminating against poor people, unhoused people, and Black people. To get involved in the fight for Healthcare As A Human Right and against state violence, go to www.putpeoplefirstpa.org
Philadelphia: On July 12th, an immunocompromised resident from the James Talib Dean (JTD) encampment on the Ben Franklin Parkway was sent from the medic tent to Jefferson Hospital because he was experiencing high fevers, nausea, vomiting and dehydration. The patient entered through the emergency department and was admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of norovirus, a highly contagious and potentially fatal pathogen with symptoms matching that of the patient’s. The primary care team at the hospital was made aware that the patient was homeless and had been residing in the encampment.
Despite the diagnosis, the patient was discharged by the hospital to the street with no assistance for self-quarantine planning and given only bus tokens. This demonstrates an extreme lack of care for the public health of the citizens of Philadelphia.
Allentown: On July 11th, Allentown police officers held their knee on the neck of a man in medical distress outside of St. Luke’s Hospital Sacred Heart Campus. The Lehigh Valley Coalition for Equity is calling on on the DA to re-open the investigation, release the body cam footage, and release the names of the officers involved in the incident.
Johnstown: On June 17th two Johnstown Police Department officers brutally beat a 60 year old man suffering from a mental health crisis. Put People First! PA has organized a number of recent actions on state violence and is taking action again on August 1 to call on city officials to:
1. Create public health alternatives to policing in Johnstown
2. Hold the officers involved in George Corson Jr.’s beating accountable
3. Release the names of the officers who killed Elip Cheatham in 2012
4. Protect our human rights during the Covid19 pandemic, including the right to healthcare and housing
Right now – sign the petition to release the names of the officers who Johnstown officers who killed Elip Cheatham in 2012! bit.ly/Justice4Elip