Police chief accused of denying CPR to gay man

| Thu Mar. 2, 2006 9:49 PM EST

From Poverty Barn comes the news that in Welch, West Virginia, Police Chief Bobby Bowman has been has been accused in a federal lawsuit of impeding a rescuer from saving the life of 43-year-old Claude Green, who died of a heart attack in June. According to Green's friend, Billy Snead, who performed chest compressions on Green, Bowman ordered him to get away and said that Green was HIV positive.

"He was a police officer so I got out the way. I assumed he would help. I didn't want to be a hindrance," Snead said. "He also told the ambulance drivers that he was HIV positive and to be careful."

Bowman denies that he he refused Green CPR and calls the accusation a "boldface lie" (obviously, he meant a "bald-faced lie"). Rose Saxe, an attorney with the ACLU AIDS Project said that Bowman's alleged actions not only contributed to Green's death (he died half an hour after arriving at the hospital), but also violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Says Saxe: "It's hard to say what was more shameful: that Chief Bowman assumed Claude Green was HIV positive solely because he was gay, or that Bowman was so ignorant about HIV that he felt you couldn't safely perform CPR on an HIV positive person."

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.