Officers Leave Child In Vehicle Overnight in Freezing Weather
(WI) – The City of Milwaukee is being sued over a 2018 incident caused by officers with the Milwaukee Police Department. On November 13, 2018, police received “a call about a minivan pulled over on the side of the road.” When officers arrived they found Blair Springfield in the driver’s seat. In the vehicle were Ms. Springfield, her two daughters, ages 4 years and 10 months, and the children’s aunt. Officers made the women get out of the car. The aunt took the baby out. Both women told police that there was another child in the vehicle who was asleep. According to the attorney representing the mother, the police ignored them.
Ms. Springfield was arrested for OWI which is the term used in Wisconsin for what we would call Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). The aunt was ordered out of the vehicle and the police had the vehicle towed to the impound lot.
Tow Lot Worker Hears Child Crying
The child was left in the vehicle overnight. The next day, a person working in an adjacent tow lot, heard the child crying and calling for her mother. Once the child was discovered an ambulance was called and the child was taken to the hospital. According to TMJ4.com, the child suffered through “temperatures around 25 degrees with a windchill of 14 degrees.”
I’m not sure how they do it in Milwaukee, but here in Bexar County officers inventory a car before it is towed. Items are noted on an inventory tow sheet. That helps to protect the agencies against false claims of stolen items or in discovering someone did steal items out of the vehicle while it was in the agency’s custody. The impound lot will double check the vehicle contents against the tow sheet the officer created to make sure everything is there. It seems that Milwaukee has some kind of policy to look in the vehicle since at least two of the officers involved in the arrest were suspended for failing to do so.
Police Officers Named as Defendants in Lawsuit
The attorney representing the family tried to work with the City of Milwaukee on a settlement, but they were unable to come to terms. On Tuesday the attorney for the family filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Milwaukee and, according to TMJ4.com,
“The plaintiffs name the following officers involved in the incident: James Collins, Fabian Garcia, Antonio Dorsey, Emily Markert and David Paszkiewicz. These are the officers who responded to a report of a parked minivan on West Forest Home Avenue in Milwaukee. All five of the officers are named as defendants in the claim.”
Per CBS58.com, “The suit is for unlawful seizure, deprivation of due process and negligence.”
I’m not an attorney, but I think it was foolish of the city not to try harder to come to an agreement. How do they think this is going to sound to a jury? I suspect the City of Milwaukee is going to get destroyed in court and rightly so.