Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Personnel from Burrell Behavioral Health claim in 911 call that I threatened to shoot evicting deputies, but that is contrary to notes in their own medical records

Burrell Behavioral Health
I threatened to shoot any Missouri sheriff's deputy who attempted to evict Carol and me back in 2015, according to the statements of two Burrell Behavioral Health employees in a 911 call they made. Mental-health workers might get their jollies from spreading such rubbish, but when the story is not true -- and this one wasn't, on multiple grounds -- it becomes a problem, both for the patient and the entity that violated his rights to medical confidentiality.

In this instance, I obviously knew the Burrell employees' statements were untrue, but I only heard the 911 call via limited discovery we received in the bogus "assault on a law enforcement officer" case brought against my wife, Carol.

Had the Burrell folks bothered to check their own records, they would have learned: (1) My lawyer-brother, David Shuler, called a Burrell supervisor and concocted the "threaten to shoot" story without providing any evidence that I actually said that; in fact, David is one of the last people on earth with whom I would discuss such a subject, or any subject of substance; (2) Records from my caregiver, a psychiatric nurse named Matt Charles, show I never made such a statement to him, and he repeatedly describes me as "not having suicidal or homicidal thoughts."

We learn about a level of coordination between my brother and certain Burrell employees that is downright devious. The Burrell personnel had every reason to know my brother was lying, and they had no lawful grounds to speak to him anyway.

How did Burrell case manager Joshua Davis and social worker Kathryn Mays (she was whispering in Davis' ear throughout the 911 call) come up with such a tale? For one, they admit near the end of the 911 call that my "relatives" (which is shorthand for David) called Burrell with the allegation that I had threatened to shoot eviction-minded cops. (Video of the 911 call is embedded at the end of this post.)

They also admit that someone at Burrell talked to David, even though we had rescinded our release that allowed them to communicate with any of my family members. We did that after Mays reported to us that David called and claimed I had asked him to call her. I never asked David to call her, and we knew then that he was pulling the kind of con games for which lawyers have become known.

In other words, we had reported David as an unreliable source of information about us, but Burrell personnel apparently took his words as gospel and placed the 911 call. That caused Greene County Sheriff's Office (GCSO) deputies to arrive for our eviction with a squadron of officers (6 to 8, at least), armed with assault rifles, handguns, and all sorts of weaponry that could have gotten us killed.

Did Davis and Mays intentionally spread false information via the 911 system? They say in the call that Mays had last seen me during an appointment with Matt Charles on August 4, 2015 -- and I threatened on that date to go all Rambo against cops. They also claim I had a gun, even though (at the time) I had never owned a gun, other than a BB gun I received as a Christmas gift when I was about age 12.

Now, let's compare the Davis/Mays 911 statements against Matt Charles' notes in my medical records from that appointment on 8/4/15 (five days before our eviction):

Progress Note

MRN: 151401

PATIENT: Roger Shuler

DATE OF BIRTH: 11/25/56

Date of service: 08/04/15

Time of service: 10:10 am. to 10:33 a.m.

Service Code: 9214


Follow-up for medication management


Patient reports that he has been feeling okay since his last visit. He states that "nothing much has changed." He reports that his mood has been good and he has been sleeping well at night. He denies having suicidal or homicidal thoughts. He denies any problems with anxiety or panic. He denies hallucinations.

Patient continues to be preoccupied with legal issues. He states that his current landlord has been causing problems for him and his wife. He states that their lease recently expired, and they have not signed a new lease. He is under the impression that the lease was to go month to month at this point; however, he is not certain his landlord is going to want him to stay there. [Note: I had the month-to-month "impression" because that's what the lease said.] He is concerned that his mother and brother have "said things about me and my wife" to the landlord and that they are going to try to evict him.

Patient has some difficulty describing the details of the situation. Patient continues to perseverate on the issues that occurred in Alabama. He reports that he is unwilling to go through another situation such as that, where he was "harassed by the police and their goons." He states that he would protect himself if this ever were to occur again. He is very evasive when asked about what he means by "protecting himself." 

Does Matt Charles say I threatened to shoot anyone? No. Does he say I had a gun? No. Does he say my brother, David Shuler, had called Burrell with the "threaten to shoot" story? Yes, he does -- in an update the next day, 8/5/15 -- as we reported in an earlier post. Does he note any evidence to suggest David's story is remotely true, or that Burrell had any lawful grounds to communicate with David? Nope.

For the most part, I think Matt Charles gives a pretty fair summary of things at that time. But I do take issue with at least three items. It's possible that the medical-records process at many facilities is much more sloppy, and much less accurate, than most of us would like to think:

(1) Charles states: "Patient has some difficulty describing the details of the situation." Given adequate time, I had no problem describing "the details of the situation," as I've done on this blog numerous times. As you can tell from the time stamp on Charles' notes, our meetings usually lasted 15 to 20 minutes. I did not have time to go into great detail about a complex tenant-landlord situation, and I don't recall Charles asking for a lot of details. I did make it clear that the the planned eviction was unlawful, but did Charles seem interested in details about the law? Not that I could tell, and I didn't have time to tell him anyway.

(2) Charles states: "[Patient] is very evasive when asked about what he means by 'protecting himself.'" This came near the end of our session, and I did not have time to go into details. Also, I was -- in my view -- being honest, not evasive. I didn't know what we could do to protect ourselves, but Charles' own account indicates it did not involve a gun or shooting anyone. I think it's axiomatic that a homeowner (or renter) is entitled to protect himself against unlawful intruders, which the cops were going to be, in this instance. If I'd had more time, I likely would have tried to explain the legal options we had, including filing a notice of appeal that would have put an automatic stay on execution. In fact, that is what we did, but cops ignored the stay and evicted anyway -- breaking Carol's arm in the process.  In other words, the cops acted just as unlawfully as we had feared they would.

(3) Charles states: "Patient continues to perseverate on the issues that occurred in Alabama." Perseverate is a fancy verb that means "to repeat or prolong an action, thought, or utterance after the stimulus that prompted it has ceased." In my case, a simple way of saying it would be that I "continued to think about certain key events in Alabama after they had happened." As regular readers know, those events included my unlawful arrest (for blogging) and incarceration of five months, the loss of our home of 25 years to a wrongful foreclosure, and a forced move to Missouri (where certain of my family members proved they had developed into backstabbers.) Does Matt Charles think we are supposed to have a robotic reaction to such jarring events? We are supposed to snap our fingers and forget about trauma that creeps into our lives? After all, I already had been diagnosed with PTSD (by a physician) for a reason. Matt Charles left Burrell a few months after this appointment, but I really would like to ask him, "What does your use of the term 'perseverate' mean? Do you think it's abnormal to continue thinking about traumatic, life-altering events after they happened -- even when the victim knows the events happened way outside the law? Is the war veteran supposed to 'switch off'' memories of horrific scenes he might have witnessed?" As for me, I would be concerned about the sanity (and maybe the honesty) of anyone who claimed they could switch off thoughts about such events.

Charles describes me throughout his notes as "not homicidal," so I'm not sure why the "protecting himself" comment would raise concerns about any activity outside the law. And, in fact, the record is clear that Carol and I acted within the law 100 percent.

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