Saturday, March 31, 2018

An autopsy has found that Sacramento American citizen Stephen Clark was shot eight times in the back after police ordered him to " show us your hands". The residents of this community are up in arms and I think rightly so. 8 times in the back would contradisct officers claims that he was advancing toward them with something in his hands when they opened fire.
First, "show me your hands" means lift your hands and show them to the officers.  Now if you indeed have something in your hands could that be misconstrued as "gun! gun!"? Then the fire works start.
Next, if the cops were so sure they were in the right why would they mute their body cameras after the shootings?
This reeks of two cops, one black, who probably didn't give this kid a damned chance to comply with their orders. Policing comes with the risk of being injured or killed in the line of duty. They know that. That doesn't mean you randomly shoot the shit out of people, a shoot first and ask questions later.
I think part of the problem is the decades long lowering of standards to eneter the police force and the training of " you vs the enemy". The people of Sacramento have every right to be angry and upset. Calls for calm are bullshit UNLESS taken seriously by all, cops and public.
A little biographical info:
I was a medic fir 20 years in Harlem and never had a problem.
When my brother became a police officer  he asked how was it, a white guy like me who never had a problem with the people I served. I told him " I always treated people with respect, from the 90 year old woman to the Blood or Crip" laying crumpled on the ground. He followed my advice and had not one complaint against him in close to 15 years of service.
I can only see from the outside but Lord God it must be tough to be a black man in

Monday, August 14, 2017

"The Baby Is In My Stocking" and that's not the only surprise

"Manhattan to 18 Boy"

"18 Boy, go Central" Sandra replies

Take it over to 110th Street and 8th Ave for the OB out (woman has already given birth).

"Ten-four, Central. On the way"

I start the vehicle up, make a quick u-turn and start heading down 7th Ave. Lights and sirens blasting in the mid-July afternoon. I learned after a while that it's not so much that people don't want to get out of your way. Sometimes they freeze, slamming on the breaks or coming to an intersection where the siren is bouncing of the buildings all around thus hard to figure out where it's coming from.

Anyway we get there quick. If the baby is already out it needs to be dried, warmed, possibly suctioned, cord needs to be cut, CPR, etc. We quickly pull up to the building and get our equipment out. We walk into the vestibule and start making our way up to the 2nd floor. Good the door is open. I hear nothing as I'm walking in. No baby crying. Mentally get myself ready to start running a code.

"In here" comes a male voice from the bedroom. We walk in and see a man and a woman on a bed. The man is laying on his left side with his head propped up by his hand and resting on his elbow. The woman, fully clothed is also laying on her left side with her head propped on his chest. Both calm as could be.

"Hello, my name is Rocco Cassetta and I'm a paramedic. How can I help you?" I ask

"I had a baby" she, well, just answers

"Where is it?" I ask as I'm looking around and see no trace of anything.

"It's in my stocking" she again just, you know answers.

Now the part I left out was this woman was big. I mean when she tipped the scales this woman tipped them. Good four hundred pounds at least. She sees me standing there dumbfounded for a second then turns on her back a bit and I see a big, round bulge between her right knee and her hip. I grab a pair of scissors and quickly cut her stocking and find she definitely had a baby. Problem is her water never broke! The baby was still in the intact amniotic sac. I looked at my partner. She's standing there with her mouth open. You see both of us were on the job for probably 3 months. Not only had neither of us ever saw this before, we were never trained in it before.

"Sandy, give me the OB kit!" I nervously ask.

I grab a scissor and poke the water balloon this child has called home for the past nine months and get drenched from the waist down in amniotic fluid.

I feel the umbilical cord and am amazed I feel it pulsating. I quickly suction, dry the kid and cut the umbilical cord. The baby is not breathing so I start mouth to mouth as my partner fumbles getting the pediatric ambu-bag (breathing apparatus) out of the bag. I them turn to my partner, hand the kid over and tell her to go to St.Luke's with the cops and I'll stay till back-up arrives. Out the door they go.

I turn to the mother "Mam, how far along where you?"

"What you mean far along"

"How many months pregnant where you?"

"I didn't even know I was pregnant!".

That was enough for me. I told her "I'm going into the hallway so I can direct the next unit where to come. Yell if you need me"


I walked out into the hallway, lit a cigarette. No moral indignation, no judgments running through my head. This is the way the world is. Get used to it or stock shelves in a supermarket. I got used to it.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Some a-hole has threatened to shoot an NYPD officer tonight. If you know an officer or are on keep an eye out and spread the word

Friday, July 7, 2017

"White motherf--ker"... between friends

That's Sy There at 7 months due

I'm sitting in the EMS station lounge during some downtime as my ambulance is getting fixed. Sitting on the couch about 5 feet across from me is my partner Sy. No Sy was not just my partner but my best friend. I was (and still am) as close to him as my own brother. We both saved each others lives several times over the years we worked together.
Again we're just sitting there hanging out went one of the chiefs walks in. A bit of an arrogant son-of a bitch. He looks at as both as he walks between us without even a sense of acknowledgment. We nod in respect to his rank as he opens the door to Sy's immediate left and begins to walk into the supervisors office. Sy turn to his left and whispers " white motherfucker". Now I'm looking right at him as he says it. I'm non-pulsed. In fact it didn't even register in my mind what he said. Now again, Sy saved my ass more times than I could think of, ; he was in my wedding party, slept over my hundred times. I swear, It didn't even register what he said. Suddenly he turned and saw me looking at him. Instead of being embarrassed and stuttering something awkward he looked me right in the eye and shouted "what the fuck you looking at motherfucker, you a nigger just like me motherfucker, just like me". At that moment I realized what he said. I shot back " Go fuck yourself. Let's get out of here before that asshole comes back". We got up like nothing and headed back to the streets.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Police Officer Killed in the Bronx Last Night... Painful Radio Transmission

The NYPD lost another officer last night when some piece of garbage walked up on her while she was seated in her patrol car and assassinated her without warning. The link provided is an audio clip of the police frequency at the time of the shooting. For some it may be painful to listen to
As a medic who worked side by side with NYPD and the brother of a retired officer my condolences and prayers go out to all the men and women in BLUE and of course the officers family.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

"My Name Is Jesus Christ"... and other vignettes

Here's a few quick ones jogged from a not so keen memory:

Me: "Hello Sir, I'm a paramedic. What seems to be the problem?"

Patient: "I'm gonna kill myself then I'm gonna kill you"

Me: "Sir as long as you keep it in that order, no problem"


Me: " Sir, what is your name?"

Patient: "Jesus Christ"

Me: "What's your birthday?"

Patient : "August 21, 1968"

Me " Really? Jesus was born on December 25!"

Patient: " Your a fucking imbecile"

Monday, May 22, 2017

Frying Up A Surprise For The Cops

Me and Steve just turn out of 136st and Lenox Avenue when the dispatcher directs us to a family shelter at 141st and Hamilton Ave. It's sort of a short term shelter for homeless families. Sort of because we've seen the same people year after year in this place.
Of course the elevator is out so here we go up 4 flights of grimy stairs, stepping on roaches and trying to avoid puddles of urine on the way up. At the third floor landing we began to hear people yelling:
"This is my motherfucking room and I don't want you in here!"
"Well listen, we were called here by someone who thinks your having a problem, now please come into the hallway with us" comes a reply. It's a female officer from the nearby precinct who was also dispatched to the call because it came in as an EDP or emotionally disturbed person. I'm ahead of Steve walking through the doorway of a small one room apartment, no more than 100 square feet. There's a man, approximately 35 years old, small build, 5'5" with an unkempt beard  with strands hanging down to his chest. He's in a white tee-shirt and tan pants. He's standing in front of a stove, right hand holding a pot of oil frying good.
"I told you get out of my fucking room man!" he yells at the two female officers
"We will if you move out into the hallway and talk to us" one of the cops yells back.
I move slowly to the side of one of the cops and position myself to where my right arm is unencumbered in the cramped room
"I told you to get the fuck o..." the guy begins to yell but before he can finish I swing my right arm and punch him right in the face. He hits the wall and falls to the floor
"What the fuck are you doing?" one of the cops screams at me while the other lunges and grabs me by my equipment belts and starts pulling me towards the door. The first cop takes out her flashlight and raises at me. "Oh shit!" I tell myself
"Why the fuck did you do that?" she screams at me again
"What the fuck is on the stove?" I scream back
She looks confused
"The scumbag was boiling oil and had a box lye next to it. He was making a Carolina Pancake to throw in your faces!" I yell back.
She looks up at the stove and lowers her flashlight. She looks white as a ghost.
"Are you kidding me? How did you know?"
"How long have you been out here?" I ask
"Close to a year"
"15 years here. Seen that shit more times than you can count"
A minute or so later the troops arrive. Cops, EMS personnel. The sergeant takes the cops down one end of the hallway and asks what happened. A few minutes later the sergeant walks over to me and Steve.
"Hey, thanks for watching out for my officers. Knew a guy 20 years ago in Brooklyn who got caught on the back with that shit. Real nasty shit"
"No problem Sarge" I say like I do this shit 20 times a day meanwhile my legs are shaking and I'm not quite certain if I wet my pants.
Walking away the sergeant turns back:
"You guys going to be at Ragg's tonight?" Ragg's is the bar on 119st many of us like to hang out at after a shift to get drunk and blow off some steam.
"Sure" I answer
"OK. First ten rounds are on them" he points to the two cops.
"Sounds good to me" I answer as we walk towards the stairs and back to the vehicle.