I'm glad that the MPD caught the guys who did this. The crime was particularly unsettling for me since the area around Gramercy Street is one of my stomping grounds. I'm always walking around there with my iPod at full volume. Of course, and as usual, Washington's response to this savage beating was just as unsettling as the crime itself.
First and foremost, these two murderers had mugged an ex-police officer in November, 2005. They stole a cell phone. That cell phone was used to call the perpetrators' relatives. The Metro Police Department failed to investigate that incredibly solid lead. The same thing happened with Alan Senitt's murderers (just with credit cards instead of cell phones). MPD will simply ignore solid evidence until someone turns up dead. Why even have a police force?
This one failure of Washington's civil services is horribly unacceptable. Naturally, there were plenty of other failures in the Rosenbaum case that were truly shocking.
The blow to Rosenbaum's head would prove fatal. But he was still semi-conscious when an emergency medical crew arrived, and the succession of mistakes that followed in treating him -- at the scene, in the ambulance and at the hospital -- sparked a public outcry and a withering critique by the D.C. inspector general.
There's the set-up. Now let's get to the mistakes!
While never stating outright that Rosenbaum would have lived if not for the failures of the emergency medical system, the report identifies one missed opportunity after another in his care, including an assumption by medics that Rosenbaum was drunk rather than suffering from a severe head injury.
"When you assume you make
An ambulance was dispatched from across town, even though others were available much closer to the scene of the attack, investigators found. The crew of that ambulance chose to bring Rosenbaum to Howard University Hospital, rather than an closer emergency room, because one of the emergency medical technicians had personal business to tend to near Howard.
Next time you're in an ambulance, remember that the EMTs would much rather attend to their personal business than actually save your life. Priorities, people. Sure their job, which comes out of our taxes, is to save our lives. No matter. I seriously hope that those EMTs got fired. What selfish assholes.
At the hospital, medical staff also failed to realize that Rosenbaum was gravely injured, and left him without treatment for an extended period. Rosenbaum died two days later.
Next time you're in a hospital emergency room, remember that the people taking care of you may be grossly incompetent. Seriously, if I end up with a fractured skull, my last conscious breath will be dedicated to whispering "Take me to Sibley." After that all I can do is hope that the EMTs have personal business to take care of on Loughboro Road.