X-ray of Carol Shuler's shattered arm, broken by a Missouri deputy. This image, taken before any repair efforts, shows that the force was so violent that the humerus (the large bone in the upper arm) almost was forced through the skin. This is X-ray No. 2 of three showing the injury before treatment.
(X-ray from Cox North Medical Center, Springfield, MO.)
Why are we just now able to show you original X-rays of my wife's broken arm, taken before trauma surgery was performed to repair the damage? The answer lies with Jim Arnott, the Sheriff of Greene County, Missouri, who was standing about five feet away when one of his deputies slammed Carol to the ground and yanked on her arms while handcuffing her during an unlawful eviction on September 9.
Carol was trying to enter our apartment to retrieve some of our belongings, as she had been told she could do. Specifically, she was trying to get our cat's litter box and was headed to the front door for that purpose, when a deputy jumped her. I saw the whole thing from about 15 feet away, while seated in the driver's seat of our automobile, which was parked in the driveway. Arnott saw it from a vantage point about 10 feet closer than mine.
And what was the sheriff's immediate reaction to seeing one of his deputies brutalizing a 55-year-old woman who was trying to get her cat's "latrine"? Arnott's response was to lie. He pointed at Carol and said, "She assaulted a police officer."
That statement is absurd to anyone who witnessed the event. And it's even more absurd when you consider that Carol wound up with a severely broken arm that required surgery, and there is no indication that any of the half dozen or so officers on hand--armed with at least one assault rifle and numerous handguns--suffered the slightest scratch.
How badly was Carol's arm broken? The image above is the second of three X-rays we received of her original injury, before any repair was attempted. The break is so severe that . . . well, I get both sick and outraged just looking at it.
Why have we been slow to bring these images to you? Well, that's largely because Carol was in custody when they were taken. Yes, you heard that right--with her arm broken as you see above, she was handcuffed (both arms twisted behind her), thrown in the back of a cruiser and transported to the Greene County Jail.
Because of Arnott's lying eyes--and lying tongue--she apparently was going to be charged with assaulting a police officer. The deputy who drove her to the jail told her she was facing a felony and likely a $100,000 bond.
At some point, Carol (likely in shock; she would receive treatment with oxygen) announced that her arm was killing her. Someone finally took notice, decided this might be serious, and had her transported to Cox North Medical Center, a few blocks from the jail.
Most of Springfield's modern medical facilities--including Cox South (where Carol eventually had surgery)--is on the city's southside, in an area known as "The Medical Mile." Cox North, which dates to 1906, is a remnant of the city's medical past. When I was growing up here in the 1960s and '70s, Cox North was known as Burge Hospital.
The facility now is used mostly for psychiatric services, but it does have X-ray equipment. And after seeing images produced at Cox North, it didn't take a knowledgeable medical person long to say, "This woman's arm is broken, badly."
News must have gotten to Arnott in a hurry because Carol was taken to Cox South to have her arm set and get scheduled for trauma surgery. At some point, Arnott must have decided that Carol didn't assault anyone after all--and bringing bogus charges against her might make his department look even worse than it already was looking.
At any rate, we haven't heard anymore about charges against Carol. As for charges against the officer, that might be another story.
It looks like Ben Fields, the school-resource officer who was fired in Richland County, South Carolina, after body slamming a 16-year-old female student and dragging her across a classroom, might face criminal charges for assault--and it appears, thankfully, that the student sustained no serious injuries.
A look at the image above (plus another one below) make it clear that Carol was severely injured. And while the South Carolina officer was lawfully on school property, the Missouri deputy had no lawful grounds to be on our rented property.
We are consulting with a number of individuals about the possibility of filing criminal charges (likely a felony) against the officer, along with a civil-rights complaint to the FBI, and a police-brutality lawsuit.
As for Sheriff Jim Arnott, we know his first instinct was too lie. His second instinct seems to be to "stick his head in the sand" and hope the problem goes away. We don't think either of those strategies is going to work.