Thursday, February 29, 2024

Can I Be A Police Officer With Epilepsy

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Race Must Be Considered In Determining Legality Of Police Stops And Seizures Wa State Supreme Court Rules

Police chase leads to arrest of dangerous suspects, seizure of firearm, cash and more

The Washington state Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a persons race, and law enforcements long history of discrimination against people of color, should be taken into account when determining the legality of police seizures.

The court also clarified state law to say police have seized a person if an objective observer would conclude that the person was not free to leave or refuse a request. But, the court wrote, that objective observer must be aware that discrimination and biases have resulted in disproportionate police contacts, investigative seizures, and uses of force against Black, Indigenous, and other people of color.

Today, we formally recognize what has always been true: In interactions with law enforcement, race and ethnicity matter, Justice Mary Yu wrote for the unanimous court. Therefore, courts must consider the race and ethnicity of the allegedly seized person as part of the totality of the circumstances when deciding whether there was a seizure.

The case concerns Palla Sum, a person of color, who was sleeping in his car in Tacoma one morning in April 2019 when police came upon him. An officer ran his plates and determined the car was not stolen.

The officer knocked on the window, asked Sum questions and asked him for identification.

Sum gave a false name and the officer went back to his cruiser to check records. Sum then drove off, crashed into a front lawn and was caught as he attempted to run away.

National Training Video Designed To Help Police Recognize Seizures

A cop who has epilepsy says two high-profile arrests in Edmonton are further proof seizure training should be mandatory for police officers in Canada.

It’s frustrating that they have access to it, but they don’t use it. And they deny even having it.- Neil Ryley, epileptic arrested in Edmonton

Allen said when he read about two Edmonton men with epilepsy who were arrested and then charged for behaviour while displaying symptoms from epileptic seizures, he could relate.

“It’s very hard to explain,” he said, as he tried to describe the feeling of coming back to consciousness from a seizure and finding himself in police custody.

“There is that disorientation, the uneasiness, the fatigue. And then you’re trying to figure out exactly what you’re doing here.”

Allen believes the module should be required training for officers across the country.

“We don’t want to have a contentious relationship here,” he said. “But with all these things that are going on right now, we’re on a powder keg just waiting to happen.”

He said he was particularly shocked to hear about the case of Neil Ryley, whose family called an ambulance for help when Ryley displayed aggressive episodes during or after a seizure.

Ryley claims that several officers arrived instead and beat him in his bedroom before the ambulance arrived.

Impact On The Criminal Case

Some defendants believe that if they can show that a search was illegal, the case must be dismissed. Not true. If a prosecutor has enough other evidence to prove the defendant guilty, the case can continue. Also, the illegally-seized evidence can generally be considered by a judge when deciding on an appropriate sentence following conviction and admitted in civil and deportation cases. In some circumstances, a prosecutor can use such evidence to impeach a defendant who testifies at trial.

Read Also: Can I Sue Police For Wrongful Arrest

Are There Jobs I Cant Do

Not all jobs are suitable for someone with epilepsy, but employment is possible if your safety and the safety of colleagues and the community are not at risk.

An employer cannot legally refuse to give you a job because you have epilepsy. However, they need to consider your epilepsy, and what the job involves, to ensure you and your colleagues will be safe at work.

If you are not successful at getting a particular job, reassess the job requirements and your skills, look at ways you can improve your qualifications and resume, ask for feedback from the employer to help improve your chances for future interviews. It is a competitive job market and epilepsy may not always be a factor in not being offered the job.

There are some jobs however, that are not suitable for people with epilepsy. Even with good seizure control, someone with epilepsy will not be able to gain employment as:

  • A pilot
  • A commercial driver such as a bus, train or truck driver
  • Jobs involving heavy machinery, water, high voltage electricity or heights

The Australian Defence Force and the state Police Forces have a medical process and medical examination for entry. It can often be difficult to get into this line of work.

It is best to contact the Defence force, Police force in your state or Australian Federal Police to discuss if it is possible.

Epilepsy Used To Hold Me Back But Now I See It As A Strength

Unreasonable Search and Seizure related to an Arizona DUI

I was determined to become a Police officer. I did my research and there are officers with epilepsy. I passed my interview with the Met Police in London, but then had a seizure. You have to go over a year seizure free to be a police officer. They suggested I find an office based role for now, which I did with Greater Manchester Police.

My doctors dont know what triggers my seizures and although this is hard, Ive worked hard to look after myself by exercising, getting enough sleep and reducing alcohol. Im so excited to start work as a Police officer in a few weeks. Ive experienced so many setbacks in doing this with my epilepsy but through my hard work and determination I have got the job of my dreams.

Epilepsy used to hold me back but now I see it as a strength, Im proud of doing what Ive always wanted whilst having this condition.

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What Is A Seizure Under The Fourth Amendment

When discussing the Fourth Amendment, we mostly think about government searches of our person, home, and vehicle. In fact, most of the Fourth Amendment cases address government searches. However, the Fourth Amendment equally protects persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable seizures.

Not all personal interactions between police officers and citizens involve a seizure of the person. A person can be seized under the Fourth Amendment in two separate ways. A seizure occurs when the officer, 1) by application of physical force or 2) show of authority, has in some way restrained the liberty of a citizen.

Any touching, even if extremely slight, is enough to constitute a seizure. Under this approach, a police officer must also have an intent to restrain the person. For example, if, during a routine traffic stop, a police officer places his elbow on the side of a vehicle to brace himself while leaning in to speak with the driver, that is not a seizure because there is no intent to restrain. However, if the police officer grasped the drivers shoulder to prevent her from reaching into the glove box, then that would be a seizure.

The determination of whether a person has been seized for purposes of the Fourth Amendment is a very fact intensive inquiry.

I Got The Job I Wanted With The Police

Hi Im Melissa! I got diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 14. Im 23 now so Ive lived with epilepsy for for 9 years now.

I have different types of focal seizures, so sometimes I am aware of everything during a seizure, but other times I am unaware of anything thats going on.

I always knew I wanted to help people, but I have struggled to achieve this with my epilepsy. I cant drive, so I couldnt be a paramedic. I looked into going into the armed forces, but again epilepsy meant this was impossible.

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Can You Be A Cop And Have Epilepsy

I have seen any number of people have seizures over the years. Even those who dont have grand mal seizures are essentially incapacitated by their seizures. Law enforcement jobs generally require that officers be able to respond quickly and correctly to any number of situations. Any type of seizure is likely to prevent this.

Action By Private Individual

Vermont Supreme Court: police can be held liable for discriminatory searches and seizures

The constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures proscribes only governmental action and is inapplicable to searches or seizures effected by private individuals. State v. Dixon, 237 Neb. 630, 467 N.W.2d 397 .

Under both the fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution and this provision, whether a search by a private person is actually a search by the State depends on whether the private person must be regarded as having acted as an instrument or agent of the State. A private person’s status as a state agent in a search is not restricted to a search ordered, requested, or initiated by a state official, but may include a search which is a joint endeavor between a private person and a state official. Some conduct by the police in advancement or inducement of a search by a private person must be proven to make out a joint endeavor. State v. Sardeson, 231 Neb. 586, 437 N.W.2d 473 .

If a search is a joint endeavor involving a private person and a state or government official, the search is subject to the constitutional safeguard against an unreasonable search, prohibited by the fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution and this provision. State v. Jolitz, 231 Neb. 254, 435 N.W.2d 907 .

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Arrests Due To Misunderstanding Of Seizure Activity

There are many documented incidences where an individual has been falsely arrested because of the way their seizures appear. Many people have been taken into custody for such offenses as drunk and disorderly behavior, creating a riot, and committing an offense against public decency, just to name a few. Seizures mismanaged by law enforcement have unfortunately led to injury and, in some rare instances, even in the death of the person having a seizure.

The Situation: You awaken in the presence of a police officer who is leading you to a patrol car. You sense that you have had a seizure, but in your confused state it is difficult to explain yourself. Now you find yourself on the way to the police station frantically trying to give reasons for what you understand your behavior might have appeared to be and what it actually was.

The Discussion: This is a common description of an arrest due to a seizure, which as you may have concluded, was most likely a complex partial seizure in which the person experiencing the seizure may have been wandering and rambling incoherently. It is easy to see how it could be misinterpreted. To compound this dilemma is the very real possibility that while the predicament is being resolved, the person may well be missing a dose of their antiseizure medication.

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Good Character And Reputation

Victoria Police as an employer has no tolerance for illicit or illegal drug use by an employee either in their work or private life.

All applicants will be subject to random drug testing during the recruitment process.

Victoria Police conducts extensive background checks on Police Officer applicants during the selection process. Your previous history will be continually checked and assessed. Failure to declare information may result in automatic cancellation of your application.

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  • If you have any prior convictions, cautions, diversions, good behaviour bonds or excessive driving offences, then it is advisable that you submit a Voluntary Disclosure Form prior to submitting an application to find out whether your prior history is likely to disqualify you from being considered for the role.

    All offences, including those that were committed as a juvenile must be disclosed in your application.

    Instructions for submitting your VDF: Your VDF must be submitted using a desktop computer or laptop. In order to successfully submit this document, please click on the link below and save this form to your desktop computer before completing your responses. Using the form you have downloaded, complete the required fields and select the submit button for the form to successfully be sent in for review.

    If you have any contact with police during the selection process, you must inform the Recruiting Services Branch immediately via e-mail:

    Also Check: How To Join The Police Academy

    How Many People In The Us Have Epilepsy

    Epilepsy is brain disorder that causes repeated seizures. About 3 million US adults aged 18 years or older have active epilepsy. 1 Nearly 1 million of those adults are aged 55 or older. 2 As our population ages, there will be even more older people with epilepsy in the coming years.

    What happens to an older person with epilepsy?

    Older people who have seizures, tend to have focal seizures, which dont make them fall down. But other people dont always know that and, hearing the word epilepsy might worry them. But if you tell them about what happens to you, you will be educating them at the same time.

    I recently met a man with epilepsy who told me of the traumatic experience he faced when he was arrested post-seizure by police officers who believed he was drunk. They withheld his anticonvulsants an act that could have killed him until he convinced one of his jailers that his life was in danger. Another man at this same event spoke up.

    Can An Autistic Person Become A Police Officer

    When Can a Police Officer Arrest or Detain You?

    In a BBC article published in 2018, the rules and uniforms required for being a police officer are considered attractive to people with autism.

    Many young girls and boys grow up wanting to be police officers, but can you be made not eligible because you have autism? Can an autistic person become a police officer?

    As a general rule, there is nothing to state that being autistic would make someone a less qualified officer than anyone else. To become an officer in the United States, you only need to meet the requirements of age, education, and training to work your way into the position.

    So what are these requirements to being a police officer in the United States? You should consider four things when starting a journey to become a police officer in the US.

    Safe Sleep Systems is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no additional cost to you. Learn more

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    Can You Be A Cop With Bipolar

    Other conditions such as bipolar disorder, recurring major depression, with or without psychotic features or suicidal ideation, recurring anxiety disorders, with or without panic attacks, obsessive/compulsive disorder, and most diagnoses leading to a psychiatric hospitalization are highly disqualifying.

    Exceptions To Warrant Requirement

    Section 60-6,197.04 is constitutionally valid and does not conflict with the 4th, 5th, and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and this provision or Neb. Const. Art. I, sec. 12, as section 60-6,197.04 mandates a preliminary breath test, rather than a search incident to lawful arrest addressed in Birchfield v. North Dakota, ___ U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 2160, 195 L. Ed. 2d 560 , and where the arresting officer cited specific articulable facts to support administering the preliminary breath test. State v. McCumber, 295 Neb. 941, 893 N.W.2d 411 .

    The requirement of ready mobility for the automobile exception to the warrant requirement of this provision is met whenever a vehicle that is not located on private property is capable or apparently capable of being driven on the roads or highways. This inquiry does not focus on the likelihood of the vehicle’s being moved under the particular circumstances and is generally satisfied by the inherent mobility of all operational vehicles. It does not depend on whether the defendant has access to the vehicle at the time of the search or is in custody, nor on whether the vehicle has been impounded. State v. Rocha, 295 Neb. 716, 890 N.W.2d 178 .

    A valid search as incident to an arrest without a warrant necessarily depends on the legality of the arrest itself. State v. Wickline, 232 Neb. 329, 440 N.W.2d 249 .

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    Epilepsy As A Disability

    Depending on the severity, epilepsy can be considered a disability which makes employment very difficult or even impossible for many sufferers for a variety of reasons. Those with seizures that cannot be controlled may find themselves unable to perform job duties of any type because their consciousness is constantly interrupted by the seizures. The aftermath of an often unpredictable seizure may leave a patient too fatigued to work for a period of time, or may temporarily impair the patient’s memory. Seizures may pose a hazard to the employee or others in the event the employee loses consciousness while performing certain duties. Even if the seizures are completely controlled by a medication, side effects, such as drowsiness or fatigue, may make the performance of duties impossible or more difficult.

    In the United States, while the Americans with Disabilities Act does not fully protect people with epilepsy from discrimination in hiring practices, the Social Security Administration only considers people with epilepsy “disabled” and thereby eligible to receive benefits if the condition severely limits one or more major life activities. Employment may be hard to find or perform for many people with epilepsy, but not all are eligible for government-sponsored disability payments.

    Employment Agencies That Can Help Find Employment

    3 Ways A Police Officer Can Stop You While Carrying In VA

    EAA has a partnership with APM Employment group

    Disability Employment Australia where you can search for local providers to help you source work if you have an illness or disability

    Australian Apprenticeships Call information and resources about Australian apprenticeships and the support available.

    Job Access Call a free information and advice service about the employment of people with disability.

    Job search websites: There are many to choose from, such as, or

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