A letter to Bothell Police Chief Cummings | Letter

Car accidents happen. I get that. What I don’t get is the demeaning discrimination heaped upon me by the Bothell police and attending fire and paramedics after I was rear-ended on 228th Street this past May 9 at 1 p.m.

I’m sure they see a lot of accidents. Maybe they’re desensitized by them. But I’m not. And I was truly shaken after the incident and concerned that I might be hurt.

I called 911 and waited. I was crying and shaking when I emerged from the car. These were involuntary reflexes. I was not doing either on purpose.

The first thing the Bothell police officer said was, “You’re fine. Why are you crying?”

I said, “I don’t know.” I had intense neck pain. “I think I might be hurt.”

The officer replied, “Seriously, you’re fine. Have you never been in a car accident before?”

The paramedics arrived and began taking my vitals. Then my phone rang.“Answer it,” said the paramedic. I did. It was my husband. I muttered, “I’m okay…” “Give me the phone” the paramedic instructed. I did.

Then I heard a truly shocking question: “Is there a history of mental illness?”

I was stunned. I wasn’t acting irrationally in any way. I have since queried multiple health care providers who have said that my reactions were completely appropriate given the trauma experienced.

Your officers looked at me and treated me as if I were some kind of subhuman hysterical female. It was demeaning, condescending and unacceptable.

Is this the way you instruct your officers to conduct business?

Debra Rich Gettleman


More in Letters to the Editor

Redirecting funds | Letter

There has been a recent influx of publicity about mental health treatment… Continue reading

Take action against climate change | Letter

The human impact of climate change anxiety was discussed by University of… Continue reading

Thank you Hiruko | Letter

Ashley Hiruko’s detailed story (“Susan’s quest for justice and the civil legal… Continue reading

An eye opener | Letter

I was quite taken by the article “Susan’s quest for justice, the… Continue reading

An idea worth encouraging | Letter

Hopeful news that numbers of homelessness people finally seems to decreasing (“Homelessness… Continue reading

A letter to Bothell Police Chief Cummings | Letter

Car accidents happen. I get that. What I don’t get is the… Continue reading

Kudos to Kunkler | Letter

Kudos to Bothell/Kenmore Reporter’s Aaron Kunkler for two fascinating climate articles. “Human… Continue reading

Say no to fracking | Letter

The process of fracking gas uses highly dangerous chemicals, many of which… Continue reading

A proposed disaster | Letter

Gov. Jay Inslee, preventing construction of the largest oil terminal in North… Continue reading

Enforcing the law | Letter

Regarding Mr. Roegner’s piece “Are Sheriffs above the law?” (bothell-reporter.com, April 9),… Continue reading

A short changed public | Letter

Representing Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, I was one of dozens of… Continue reading

Food diversity in local grocery stores | Letter

Our ever-growing community is becoming more and more diverse with each passing… Continue reading