BY K. BROWNE
-Southeast Doctors Hospital
In the dark early morning hours of Spring, 1968, we responded to a
discreet frequency 1 request for back up. I was a brand new FPK puppy,
still in a state of shock from my surroundings. My training officer,
Bob Cochran, got a call from Bobby Moeller and his trainee whose name
I can't remember, to back him up on Oris or Aranbee, somewhere over there.
They had come across a couple of dudes standing in a front yard and
then obs'd a guy lying in the front seat of a car in the driveway.
He had been stabbed in the gut and was incoherent. The 2 dudes had
not the faintest idea how that person, totally unknown to them,
came to be there or anything about what caused his condition
("We didn't see nothin' or hear nothin', officer"). I was designated
to ride in the ambulance with the victim in case he made pertinent statements.
We arrived at Southeast Doctor's Hospital in Compton. It's the
middle of the night, there's almost no one up (So I think) and
we wheel our victim into chaos. The lobby is full, people are in
the various cubicles, and there's apparently no organizing principle
in force. I'm standing beside my victim, self-consciously trying to
look "in charge", but feeling very alone. After several minutes without
having been noticed at all, the ambulance attendants gone, I observe that
the spurting wounds in my victim's belly have filled the gurney.
Still no doctor or nurse or any concern for my victim. After several
more minutes, the blood is dripping in the hallway where we're
parked and it's pooling on the floor. Meanwhile, a single doctor
and a nurse or two are scurry back and forth on their errands, totally
oblivious to a guy whose life is obviously draining away.
Then, miraculously, a doctor hurrying by skids in the ever-widening
pool of blood and nearly falls down. Recovering his balance, he notes
that my black victim is now nearly
grey and decides he better do something. It's unbelievable to me how
casually the staff there seems to take their oaths to
save lives, and I added a supplement to that effect in my report.
Shortly thereafter, S.E. Doctor's loses their EAP and regional status
because of a mountain of those memos. None too soon.
-Southeast Doctors Hospital, Compton