An African American business woman from Long Island was drugged and locked in a hospital psych ward for eight days because first police, and then doctors could not believe her high-powered career was real.
The hideous ordeal began last September as 32-year-old former Citigroup banker Kam Brock drove her BMW through Harlem. The NYPD pulled her over, accused her of being high on marijuana and impounded her car. No weed was ever found in the vehicle.
The next day, she went to pick up her vehicle and confronted officers about her treatment. She was forcibly sedated, cuffed, and sent to Harlem Hospital. On arrival, she was locked up in the psych ward as an ‘Emotionally Disturbed’ person.
“Next thing you know, the police held onto me, the doctor stuck me with a needle and I was knocked out,” Brock recalls. “I woke up to them taking off my underwear and then went out again. I woke up the next day in a hospital robe.”
But this was only the beginning of her nightmare. As the New York Daily News reports:
Kam Brock’s frightening eight-day ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ ordeal at the mental facility included forced injections of powerful sedatives and demands she down doses of lithium, medical records obtained through her suit filed in Manhattan Federal Court show.
In efforts to establish her credibility and sanity, Brock tried to explain who she was. She told doctors about her job, and that President Obama follows her on Twitter—both of which are true. They argued she was delusional and bipolar, sedated her, and kept her in treatment for more than a week.
The New York Daily News was able to gain access to Harlem Hospital’s treatment plan for Brock, which read:
“Objective: Patient will verbalize the importance of education for employment and will state that Obama is not following her on Twitter,” and “patient’s weaknesses: inability to test reality, unemployment.”
But as Jay Hathaway over at Gawker points out:
In reality, Barack Obama’s Twitter account—which is not actually run by President Obama, or even the White House—follows 640,000 people, including Brock. One way to “test” that reality might have been to look at Brock’s Twitter account, which is public.
Doctors could also have verified Brock’s employment history with ease, had they so chosen. Several Instagram photos from her time at Citibank last year are available publicly. They show company emails announcing the most productive personal bankers of the month, a list Brock consistently topped and shared with pride. Astoria Bank is her current employer.
A simple Google search of her name, or a few phone calls would have cleared up this whole situation in a matter of minutes. But no such measures were taken. Is it really so unbelievable that a black woman in America might own a BMW legitimately, bought with wages from a successful career?
Medical records show that for eight days, she was forced to attend group therapy, suffer injections of heavy sedatives, and swallow lorazepam and lithium pills – all in efforts to have her deny her own life story.
When she was finally released, no apologies were made for the mistake. Instead, she was handed a $13,000 medical bill.
Brock has since filed a suit against the city, citing unspecified damages. New York City’s Law Department are reviewing the suit.
Featured Image via AkilahBrock/Instagram