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


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Letters to the Editor

A way to keep us healthy | Letter

A way to keep us healthy A problem has occurred recently that… Continue reading

Kenmore council let them down | Letter

On Feb. 3, the Kenmore City Council had a special meeting regarding… Continue reading

Two solutions | Letter

Facts about the growing gap between the super rich and the vast… Continue reading

More community members weigh in on election | Letters

Thompson has positive ideas I write in support of Mason Thompson for… Continue reading

An unenforceable ban | Letter

As the advisory vote in Snohomish County regarding a fireworks ban approaches,… Continue reading

Community members weigh in on election | Letters

Sperry cares for Kenmore My husband and I are supporting Van Sperry… Continue reading

Thompson is ‘exceptionally well qualified’ | Letter

I am currently the presiding judge for Snohomish County District Court and… Continue reading

Thompson, a judge to be proud of | Letter

Judge Paul Thompson was an excellent choice for our governor to make… Continue reading

Okoloko is hard working and ethical | Letter

As a recently retired trial attorney after a long career in the… Continue reading

Duerr hardworking and engaged | Letter

Davina Duerr may be the most hard-working and engaged member who has… Continue reading

Vote for Okoloko | Letter

I support Judge Edirin Okoloko for the position of Superior Court judge.… Continue reading

Retain Okoloko as Superior Court judge | Letter

After a 23-year career as a Snohomish County judge, having served more… Continue reading