I am a physician specializing in neuro-psychiatry. It appeared to me from the very first videos of the arrest of Freddie Gray that by the time the officers were bringing him to the van, he was limp and had to be supported and dragged to the van. His left leg moved relatively normally, but his right leg was straight out and seemed to be unable to move. The moment I saw him I commented that he looked paralyzed.
It is also hard to believe that an injury of such severity could have occurred in the van. It seems far more likely to have been inflicted by severe blows to his spine. The news reports say that three vertebrae were damaged. How could that happen merely by being bounced around in a van?
I invite my medical colleagues to respond to these observations. I could be wrong. Then again, I could be right. Did anyone else notice this appearance of paralysis before Freddie was placed in the van?
Before Christie became Governor, from 2002 to 2008, he was the United States Attorney for New Jersey, appointed by George W. Bush.
In that position, he emphasized prosecutions of political corruption, and also obtained convictions for sexual slavery, arms trafficking, racketeering by gangs, as well as other federal crimes
I am a psychiatrist. I have spent most of my career studying people who kill other people.Not long ago I evaluated an adolescent who, like the Newtown shooter, first killed a parent, then shot up his school, wounding and killing many of his classmates.Could this massacre have been prevented? I think so. The adolescent I saw had much in common with the Newtown shooter.
1)He was a loner and was considered peculiar by his classmates because of his preoccupation with violence.
2)When obsessed with violence he wore black or camouflage, signalling his state of mind.
3)He was fascinated with weapons and prevailed on his parents to buy him a glock.
4)He went target shooting with his father (a passtime encouraged by his therapist as a means of bonding.)
5) He made his preoccupation with shooting known by speaking of it to classmates and writing about it in school assignments. It was no secret.
Unfortunately, of all who later told of the boy's fascination with violence, none took him seriously.
6) He had psychotic symptoms which were obvious (e.g.auditory hallucinations) which were observed by his teacher but ignored and/or punished.
Do the above similarities between the adolescent I saw and the Newtown shooter matter? You bet they do!
There are others in our schools and in society at large whose recurrent violent ruminations and preoccupations are signals that they are struggling with impulses to act on these preoccupations. They go out of their way to make their demons known.
We tend to look away. We leave it to others to respond.Believe it or not, several of the murderers I have evaluated were turned away from mental hospitals just prior to their committing murder. Psychiatrists hate violent patients.
Teachers, friends and acquaintances are reluctant to call attention to their peer's violent proclivities lest they be seen as over-concerned or intrusive. Others worry about being sued.
I would suggest that adolescents and adults be made aware of the numerous clues available that friend or acquaintance may be preoccupied with violence and may be about to "blow." They must also be taught to share their misgivings with a responsible adult.
Will mistakes be made? Of course.
On the other hand, some potential shooters might get the help they are seeking and thus be prevented from acting on their darkest urges and fantasies.
I have spent most of my professional life evaluating murderers and studying the causes of vi9olence.As such I have encountered individuals whose behaviors were almost identical to those of the Colorado shooter. Therefore, I cannot stand back and let pass the blather of talking heads who purport to be experts on violence and who dismiss the shooter as sane but evil.
Just because this horrendous tragedy was carefully planned and mercilessly executed does not mean it was committed by a normal human being. More naive is the assumption that the underlying motive was simply fame.Baloney! Some of the craziest, most paranoid, most discontrolled members of our society are intelligent and appear sane.Too many of my colleagues dismiss them as self-aggrandizing psychopaths.
Not having examined this particular killer, it would be unethical and unwise to make a diagnosis. If, however, he is similar to others I have examined, I predict that the following facts will emerge:
1)He had been harboring feelings of rage and fantasies of destruction for years.
2)At times his thoughts and behaviors were odd and he was hard to relate to.
3)His moods fluctuated markedly as did his appearance (e.g. scruffy in fatigues vs. preppy and neat)
4)Most tragic and alarming, I suspect, no, I hypothesize, that many people who knew him were aware of his peculiarities and violent fantasies but did nothing to intervene.
5)His malfunctioning and despair were known to his teachers by virtue of fluctuating performance and moods.
6) People who recognized his need for psychiatric care were reluctant to recommend it lest they be sued by him or his parents.
I have known faculty at institutions ranging from grammar school to graduate school who have been afraid to confront troubled students lest they, the faculty, be criticized.
I am convinced that there were times when appropriate interventions could have prevented the tragedy in Colorado.
Again, to dismiss this catastrophe as the act of an evil fame-seeker is to miss the opportunity for the media to educate the public regarding the signs of a troubled, potentially explosive individual.