Authorities are investigating the death of a 57-year-old Florida woman who was treated at a hospital but complained of other issues and eventually died as she collapsed and tussled with police.
Police thought Barbara Dawson was “making herself dead weight” to avoid going to jail, according to a police report released Monday, writes The Associated Press. She was ordered to leave Calhoun Liberty Hospital in Blountstown, Florida on Dec. 2., but refused to do so after noting she wasn’t feeling well, notes the report.
Police soon arrived to arrest her for disorderly conduct. Dawson collapsed during the struggle and died 90 minutes later from a blood clot in her lungs.
The police assumed that Dawson’s antics were a ruse to avoid arrest. In the reports taken by a Blountstown police officer, it was written that Dawson appeared not to be suffering any health malady and breathing well ahead of her collapse, writes The AP.
What appears to have angered some observers is that the officers still attempted to put Dawson into their squad car, and they gave her an additional charge of trespassing as well, notes the report. The incident was not caught on video and only a few photos of the tussle were taken. Adding a wrinkle to the case is that Dawson is Black and the arresting officer who filed the report is a White man.
The Tallahassee Democrat reports that Dawson allegedly had several run-ins at the Calhoun Liberty Hospital, but the Agency for Health Care Administration has launched an investigation, along with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.