Woman Who Died in Airport Was a Mother By Karen Matthews
NEW YORK (AP) — A traveler who may have accidentally choked herself to death while handcuffed in an airport holding cell was a "wonderful" woman and mother, according to New York City's public advocate, who is her relative.
Carol Anne Gotbaum, 45, was arrested Friday at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix after she became irate when gate crews refused to let her board a flight for which she was late, officials said.
"She was a wonderful mother; she was sweet and kind and loving," said public advocate Betsy Gotbaum, the woman's stepmother-in-law. "It's obviously very, very difficult for us; we are dealing with it as best we can. My No. 1 focus is those children and my stepson."
She also pleaded with the press for privacy.
The events that led to Gotbaum's death began when she became irate over not being allowed on a US Airways flight, though she was rebooked on a later flight, officials said.
Officers handcuffed her and took her to the holding room, where she kept screaming, authorities said. They checked on her when she became quiet and found her unresponsive, said Phoenix police Sgt. Andy Hill.
It appears Gotbaum may have tried to get out of her handcuffs, which ended up around her neck, Hill said. A medical examiner will determine the cause of death.
Neither a stun gun nor pepper spray was used on the woman, authorities said.
The New York City public advocate helps solve residents' problems with government and acts as a watchdog over city agencies.
I do not believe the official story here, it makes absolutely no sense to me.
Things have gotten extremely out-of-whack in airport security, things are being done which have absolutely nothing to do with preventing terrorism. We're not supposed to be preventing people from expressing their distress at being mistreated by the airlines, we're not supposed to be ejecting people from flights based on their clothing, the measures that have been put in place, which inconvenience us all, are supposed to help prevent another airplane-related terrorist attack. As far as I can see, what we've got instead is yet another application of a stupid and irrational "zero-tolerance" authoritarian mindset.
Betsy Gotbaum is a tenacious woman, I don't expect her to let this go.
Update (10/5): The family has hired a lawyer in Phoenix, someone who's fairly big locally, and has also engaged a forensic examiner to observe the autopsy and perhaps do his own tests.
This statement from a Phoenix police sergeant gave more information on how Gotbaum was restrained, which only increases my disbelief.
When Ms. Gotbaum was arrested and handcuffed with her hands behind her back she was taken to the holding office in Terminal 4 and placed in a holding room. There she was searched but was continuing to be vocally and physically disruptive in the holding room. Ms. Gotbaum was additionally restrained as follows: In the holding room there is a bench with an “eyehook” attached to it. The officers took a “shackle”, which is described as a metal chain, approximately 16 inches long, with a large “handcuff” on each side. The total length of the chain with handcuffs is approximately 24 inches. One of the handcuffs on the “shackle” was attached to the “eyehook” on the bench. The other handcuff of the shackle was attached to the chain of the handcuffs that were already on Ms. Gotbaum’s hands. So Ms. Gotbaum was handcuffed with her hands behind her back, and additionally those handcuffs were attached to a shackle that kept her attached to the bench.
This is the best we can describe the situation at that point. All of the previous information is still the same with the addition of the information of the shackle. We still do not know how Ms. Gotbaum was able to manipulate the handcuffs to the position she was in. But when she was found her handcuffs were in front and the shackle was still attached to her handcuffs. The chain was not wrapped around her neck. It was pulled against the front of her neck area. [NY Times City Room blog]
I really don't see how, unless whe was a contortionist, she could have gotten from the position she was put in (hands cuffed behind back, movement restricted by the shackle), to one in which she strangled herself with the chain.
hostile to science
lacking in empathy
lacking in public spirit
out of control
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i've got a little list...
Steven Abrams (Kansas BofE)
Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson
Roger Ailes (FNC)
Alan Bonsell (Dover BofE)
Bill Buckingham (Dover BofE)
George W. Bush
Bruce Chapman (DI)
The Coors Family
William A. Dembski
Leonard Downie (WaPo)
John Gibson (FNC)
Fred Hiatt (WaPo)
James F. Inhofe
Philip E. Johnson
by Joel Pelletier
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Stephen C. Meyer (DI)
Judith Miller (ex-NYT)
Sun Myung Moon
Elspeth Reeve (TNR)
Martin Peretz (TNR)
Richard Mellon Scaife
Susan Schmidt (WaPo)
John Solomon (WaPo)
Richard Thompson (TMLC)
Bob Woodward (WaPo)
All the fine sites I've
Be sure to visit them all!!
Arthur C. Clarke
Daniel C. Dennett
Philip K. Dick
Stephen Jay Gould
"The Harder They Come"
Ursula K. LeGuin
The Marx Brothers
Michael C. Penta
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
"The Red Shoes"
"Singin' in the Rain"
Talking Heads/David Byrne
Hunter S. Thompson
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
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