From: Twittering One on
The New York Times
October 4, 2007

Motherly Act Began Events That Led to Gotbaum Death
By JOHN SULLIVAN

Carol A. Gotbaum was supposed to fly directly to Tucson last Friday to
enter an alcohol rehabilitation program, but she delayed her departure
to see her children off to school, her family said. The delay and the
resulting nondirect flight were part of a series of circumstances that
led to Ms. Gotbaum's confrontation with the police at the Phoenix
airport, and to her subsequent death in police custody.

The events surrounding her arrest are now under investigation, and the
Phoenix Police Department said yesterday that it had a videotape of
the arrest itself. But according to her family members and their
lawyer, if the day had gone as planned, Ms. Gotbaum would not have
been there at all.

Ms. Gotbaum, 45, the stepdaughter-in-law of New York City's public
advocate, Betsy Gotbaum, was originally scheduled to fly directly to
Tucson for an alcohol rehabilitation program. But Ms. Gotbaum, who
lived on the Upper West Side, delayed her flight because she wanted to
say goodbye to her three children, two of whom were attending a new
grammar school.

The change meant a connection through the busy Phoenix Sky Harbor
International Airport. Her husband, Noah, was apparently comfortable
letting her fly alone because she was to meet a couple she knew at a
stopover in Phoenix, the family said.

But Ms. Gotbaum arrived too late to make the connecting flight to
Tucson, the family's lawyer, Michael C. Manning, said.

According to a spokesman for Mesa Airlines, which operates the flight
Ms. Gotbaum was to take, she arrived at the gate after boarding was
completed. The passageway to the airliner was closed, and the plane
was about to take off, said Paul Skellon, a spokesman for Mesa.

According to the Phoenix police, Ms. Gotbaum began arguing with the
ticket agents, insisting that she be allowed to board the plane. The
police were called, and officers saw Ms. Gotbaum "yelling and
screaming" and running through the concourse, said Sgt. Andy Hill of
the Phoenix police.

Sergeant Hill said that the officers tried unsuccessfully to calm Ms.
Gotbaum, finally handcuffing her and arresting her on charges of
disorderly conduct. But that account is now disputed by Mr. Manning.

Mr. Manning said yesterday that his office had interviewed three
witnesses to the confrontation.

"The police approached her, according to witnesses, made no effort to
speak to her, calm her or assess the situation," he said. "Two of them
immediately took her to the ground."

Mr. Manning said witnesses recounted that Ms. Gotbaum was not
threatening anyone, and instead was yelling, "I am not a terrorist, I
am not a criminal, I am just a sick mother, I need to get help."

Sergeant Hill said tersely yesterday that the account of Mr. Manning's
witnesses was "not true."

"The officers did try to calm her down," he said, adding that the
arrest followed police procedure. "When we release the video, everyone
will see." He did not say when the video would be released.

Ms. Gotbaum was placed in a police holding cell at the airport; her
hands were cuffed behind her, with a metal chain about two feet long
attaching the handcuffs to a bench, Sergeant Hill said. She continued
yelling in the cell, he said, and was left alone for 5 to 10 minutes.
After she stopped shouting, the officers looked in the cell, he said,
and found Ms. Gotbaum unconscious with the chain stretched across her
neck. Attempts by the police and medical workers to revive her were
unsuccessful.

Mr. Manning also criticized the officers' actions in the holding cell,
saying they should have obtained a medical evaluation for Ms. Gotbaum
and should not have left her alone.

"You don't leave an emotionally disturbed citizen shackled with that
kind of potential weapon or device they could use to hurt themselves,"
he said.

The cause of death is under investigation, and an autopsy was
performed on Tuesday evening by the Maricopa County medical examiner.
David Boyer, a spokesman for the medical examiner, said the results of
the autopsy would not be released until laboratory results were
completed in a few weeks.

A pathologist hired by the Gotbaum family, Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, was
allowed to perform a separate examination, Mr. Manning said. He said
yesterday that Dr. Wecht would wait for lab results before announcing
his conclusion. But he added that a private investigator who also
attended the exam said Ms. Gotbaum exhibited signs of "very serious
trauma," including bruises and a mark on her neck from the metal
chain.

Eric Konigsberg contributed reporting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/04/nyregion/04gotbaum.html?ref=nyregion

From: Twittering One on
The New York Times
October 3, 2007

Editorial
A Death at the Phoenix Airport

Carol Gotbaum was a troubled woman seeking treatment for alcohol abuse
in Tucson. She was on her way there last Friday when she missed a
flight in Phoenix. That apparently panicked her and led, mysteriously,
abruptly and horribly, to her death in police custody.

Ms. Gotbaum's tragic encounter with the Phoenix police is getting
attention because she came from a prominent family. Her stepmother-in-
law, Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, is New York's second-highest-
ranking elected official. But it raises larger questions about how
airport security officials are doing their jobs.

The details of the death remain murky. Ms. Gotbaum, a 45-year-old
weighing 105 pounds, was described as agitated and screaming when she
missed her connection. The police were summoned. They subdued and
handcuffed her, arresting her for disorderly conduct. That should have
been enough, but Ms. Gotbaum was then shackled to a bench in an
airport holding cell, where she was left alone to quiet down - despite
having reportedly told police she was a "sick mom" and needed help.
The police say she died of asphyxiation and was found with a shackle
chain at her throat.

"She cried out for help," Betsy Gotbaum said in a statement, "but her
pleas appear to have been met with mistreatment."

It is not clear what, if any, mistreatment occurred, but among the
questions that need answers are the cause of her death, and why an
obviously troubled woman was not placed under better supervision.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, there have been widespread reports of airport
security officials mistreating travelers and quickly escalating minor
incidents further than they needed to go.

An autopsy may offer some clues, and investigations are under way.
They should look not only at Ms. Gotbaum's case, but also at what can
be done to bring more reason and professionalism to airport security.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/03/opinion/03wed4.html

From: Twittering One on
"Twittering ~
Get Mum to call Betsy for us ~ !

After all,
She IS our elected Public Advocate
En NYC. & Bellevue is a New York
City Hospital ~ !"
~ Folly

"Heck, yeah."
~ Twittering

From: Twittering One on
"Dear Ms.
Betsy Gotbaum ~

Our sincere condolences
During this difficult time of your grieg
& rage."
~ Twittering LSTOO & Folly IAG,
Yours en La Grande Pomme

From: Mark Probert on
Twittering One wrote:
> The New York Times
> October 4, 2007
>
> Motherly Act Began Events That Led to Gotbaum Death
> By JOHN SULLIVAN
>
> Carol A. Gotbaum was supposed to fly directly to Tucson last Friday to
> enter an alcohol rehabilitation program, but she delayed her departure
> to see her children off to school, her family said. The delay and the
> resulting nondirect flight were part of a series of circumstances that
> led to Ms. Gotbaum's confrontation with the police at the Phoenix
> airport, and to her subsequent death in police custody.
>
> The events surrounding her arrest are now under investigation, and the
> Phoenix Police Department said yesterday that it had a videotape of
> the arrest itself. But according to her family members and their
> lawyer, if the day had gone as planned, Ms. Gotbaum would not have
> been there at all.
>
> Ms. Gotbaum, 45, the stepdaughter-in-law of New York City's public
> advocate, Betsy Gotbaum, was originally scheduled to fly directly to
> Tucson for an alcohol rehabilitation program. But Ms. Gotbaum, who
> lived on the Upper West Side, delayed her flight because she wanted to
> say goodbye to her three children, two of whom were attending a new
> grammar school.
>
> The change meant a connection through the busy Phoenix Sky Harbor
> International Airport. Her husband, Noah, was apparently comfortable
> letting her fly alone because she was to meet a couple she knew at a
> stopover in Phoenix, the family said.
>
> But Ms. Gotbaum arrived too late to make the connecting flight to
> Tucson, the family's lawyer, Michael C. Manning, said.
>
> According to a spokesman for Mesa Airlines, which operates the flight
> Ms. Gotbaum was to take, she arrived at the gate after boarding was
> completed. The passageway to the airliner was closed, and the plane
> was about to take off, said Paul Skellon, a spokesman for Mesa.
>
> According to the Phoenix police, Ms. Gotbaum began arguing with the
> ticket agents, insisting that she be allowed to board the plane. The
> police were called, and officers saw Ms. Gotbaum "yelling and
> screaming" and running through the concourse, said Sgt. Andy Hill of
> the Phoenix police.
>
> Sergeant Hill said that the officers tried unsuccessfully to calm Ms.
> Gotbaum, finally handcuffing her and arresting her on charges of
> disorderly conduct. But that account is now disputed by Mr. Manning.
>
> Mr. Manning said yesterday that his office had interviewed three
> witnesses to the confrontation.
>
> "The police approached her, according to witnesses, made no effort to
> speak to her, calm her or assess the situation," he said. "Two of them
> immediately took her to the ground."
>
> Mr. Manning said witnesses recounted that Ms. Gotbaum was not
> threatening anyone, and instead was yelling, "I am not a terrorist, I
> am not a criminal, I am just a sick mother, I need to get help."
>
> Sergeant Hill said tersely yesterday that the account of Mr. Manning's
> witnesses was "not true."
>
> "The officers did try to calm her down," he said, adding that the
> arrest followed police procedure. "When we release the video, everyone
> will see." He did not say when the video would be released.
>
> Ms. Gotbaum was placed in a police holding cell at the airport; her
> hands were cuffed behind her, with a metal chain about two feet long
> attaching the handcuffs to a bench, Sergeant Hill said. She continued
> yelling in the cell, he said, and was left alone for 5 to 10 minutes.
> After she stopped shouting, the officers looked in the cell, he said,
> and found Ms. Gotbaum unconscious with the chain stretched across her
> neck. Attempts by the police and medical workers to revive her were
> unsuccessful.
>
> Mr. Manning also criticized the officers' actions in the holding cell,
> saying they should have obtained a medical evaluation for Ms. Gotbaum
> and should not have left her alone.
>
> "You don't leave an emotionally disturbed citizen shackled with that
> kind of potential weapon or device they could use to hurt themselves,"
> he said.
>
> The cause of death is under investigation, and an autopsy was
> performed on Tuesday evening by the Maricopa County medical examiner.
> David Boyer, a spokesman for the medical examiner, said the results of
> the autopsy would not be released until laboratory results were
> completed in a few weeks.
>
> A pathologist hired by the Gotbaum family, Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, was
> allowed to perform a separate examination, Mr. Manning said. He said
> yesterday that Dr. Wecht would wait for lab results before announcing
> his conclusion. But he added that a private investigator who also
> attended the exam said Ms. Gotbaum exhibited signs of "very serious
> trauma," including bruises and a mark on her neck from the metal
> chain.
>
> Eric Konigsberg contributed reporting.
>
> http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/04/nyregion/04gotbaum.html?ref=nyregion
>

Why was she traveling alone? This family surely could have afforded a
companion.