Schoolcraft’s Diagnosis: “Calm and Not Agitated”
September 20, 2010
Jamaica Hospital kept whistleblower cop Adrian Schoolcraft inside its mental ward for six days, even though he expressed no suicidal or homicidal thoughts, had no hallucinations, and “was appropriate in interactions, calm and not agitated,” according to the hospital’s records.
A “discharge summary,” written by Dr. Isak Isakov, offered only the vague diagnosis that Schoolcraft had an “adjustment disorder with anxious mood,” which was “related to stress at job.”
What appeared most troubling to the hospital’s doctors concerned Schoolcraft’s corruption allegations about the 81st precinct. But, even here, the docs got it wrong.
The discharge summary describes Schoolcraft as being “paranoid” that the NYPD didn’t take his corruption charges seriously.
“He expressed questionable paranoid ideas of conspiracy and cover -ups going [on] in the precinct,” the summary stated.
“Since then, he started collecting ‘evidence’ to ‘prove his point’ and became suspicious ‘They are after him,’” the summary reads.
In fact, Schoolcraft’s complaints about the precinct and his suspicions about conspiracies and cover-ups have been borne out.
The hospital document also describes how a posse of a dozen police officers dragged Schoolcraft from his Queens apartment to the hospital in handcuffs on October 31, 2009.
His crime? He had left the 81st precinct an hour before his tour ended because he felt sick.
“According to him,” the discharge summary reads, “he came home and took Nyquil and fell asleep. He was awakened by police officers in his room. He doesn’t know how they entered his room, who asked him to come with them to precinct. After he refused to comply to go voluntarily, they involuntarily put him in the car handcuffed, and brought him to the emergency room of Jamaica Hospital…”
The hospital kept him in its psychiatric unit’s emergency room for three days, then formally admitted him to the psychiatric ward after evaluating him on November 3, with another vague diagnosis of “psychosis NOS.” NOS means “not otherwise specified.”
But didn’t Schoolcraft’s so-called symptoms fit how any normal person would behave if forced to stay inside a mental ward for no reason?
“On evaluation today,” reads the discharge summary, “he [Schoolcraft] was feeling anxious. He was suspicious and guarded. He was demanding to be discharged and appeared restless. He denied any suicidal or homicidal ideations, denied any auditory or visual hallucinations. …. His cognition and memory were intact.”
After a few days in the unit, the discharge summary, dated Nov. 6, 2009, concluded that “there were no significant psychiatric symptoms to treat with medications.”
The hospital discharged Schoolcraft on that date with a recommendation to “follow up with the [unnamed] psychotherapist and if he becomes symptomatic, to see a psychiatrist for medication.”
In the eyes of the police department, Schoolcraft’s crime was that he had secretly tape-recorded precinct roll call meetings where superiors ordered cops to downgrade felonies to misdemeanors and to refuse to take complaints from victims — practices that are said to occur in precincts throughout the city.
Schoolcraft also had two tape-recorders rolling when the police posse, led by a Deputy Chief, Michael Marino, entered his apartment on Halloween and hauled him off to Jamaica Hospital.
The police, he has said, confiscated one, but didn’t know about the second.
Last month, Schoolcraft filed a $50-million suit against Jamaica Hospital and the NYPD, accusing the department of retaliation and the hospital of malpractice.
Hospital spokesman Ole Pedersen and hospital attorneys did not return phone calls.
Two months ago, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly transferred the 81st precinct commander, Steven Mauriello, to a Bronx transit unit — a move that Kelly’s spokesman, Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Paul Browne, said was unrelated to Schoolcraft’s charges.
However, in a bizarre attempt at reconciliation, Bronx Captain Brandon del Pozo — who said he was acting with the imprimatur of Deputy Commissioner Julie Schwartz, the Department Advocate, and of “people in the office of Michael Farrell,” the Deputy Commissioner for Strategic Initiatives — told Schoolcraft’s attorney Jon Norinsberg that Mauriello had been transferred as a result of Schoolcraft’s allegations.
Del Pozo added that the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau was investigating Mauriello and that, if Schoolcraft accepted a department offer of a cushy job in the canine unit, he could testify against him.
Although the department has made no official statement, del Pozo also told attorney Norinsberg that Marino, too, was under investigation and that Schoolcraft could testify against him as well.
Norinsberg said he rejected del Pozo’s offer as “ridiculous.”
As for an internal police investigation, that doesn’t mean much these days in the NYPD.
The Internal Affairs Bureau does its work and sometime even comes up with charges, which Kelly ignores for favored officers. [See NYPD Confidential columns of Sep. 6 and Aug. 16, 2010, regarding Captain Matthew Travaglia of the 113th precinct; columns of Mar. 1, Feb. 15 and Jan. 18, 2010, regarding. Lieu. Eddie Maldonado, and columns of Oct. 8 and Oct. 15, 2007, regarding Deputy Inspector Vincent Marra — both of the Intelligence Division.]
In his lawsuit, Schoolcraft also charged that Browne, who is Kelly’s closest aide, was present when the police raided his apartment and dragged him off to the hospital.
Browne has refused to state publicly whether or not he was present.
Another unanswered question concerns the role of Kelly, who, in his eight years as commissioner with no transparency or accountability, has apparently begun to confuse the NYPD with the KGB, which in the old Soviet Union placed dissenters in mental hospitals.
Who, if anyone, in the NYPD will be held accountable for hauling Schoolcraft off to the Jamaica Hospital psych ward with no medical justification?
Did Kelly himself authorize the raid on Schoolcraft’s apartment? Did he encourage or countenance it? Or, as Kelly has said of his role as First Deputy Commissioner during the Crown Heights riot nearly 20 years ago, was he “out of the loop”?
Now he says, “I'm doing a lot of stuff with music and developing a following.”
His provocative issue: the Ground Zero mosque.
On his Facebook page, the former Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association delegate and NYPD bête noir offers a scathing critique of the union for not opposing the mosque.
Referring to former president Phil Caruso, Livoti says, “If he were PBA President today, a massive movement would be underway to stop the Ground Zero mosque from being built on the graves of 23 of New York’s Finest and 343 of New York’s Bravest.
“The sheer cowardice of current president Patrick Lynch as demonstrated by his lack of leadership on this issue is embarrassing and disgraceful. ... Instead, like the Mayor who’s [sic] pocket he is in, he prefers not to ruffle any feathers as he contemplates his next elected office. I call upon every Cop to demand a Public Statement from the Union leadership denouncing this Mosque and a plan of action to stop it.”
No comment from Lynch.
Copyright © 2010 Leonard Levitt