Yesterday, friends, family, and others gathered for the funeral of 49-year-old Esmin Green, whose death in a Kings County Hospital emergency room was captured on surveillance video. Green, who had been waiting for almost 24 hours for medical attention, had collapsed onto the floor; though many staffers saw her on the floor, nothing was done until a nurse (who kicked her gently) realized she was unconscious an hour later.
Green was described as a loving, devout woman who worked as a caregiver to the elderly, a day care worker, and Sunday school teacher. She also suffered from depression, which is why she had gone to Kings County. NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said at the funeral, “She went to the hospital for care and met a system pervaded by indifference, disdain and abuse." The NYCLU is suing Kings County for a history of abusive conditions (after the the footage of Green's death surfaced, the hospital promised reforms to better care for mentally ill patients).
A friend told NYC that the hospital staffers who ignored Green should "to go to jail. I said it before and I'll say it again: they're supposed to go to jail." And Green's distraught daughter Trecia Harrison said, "I can't even describe what we're going through. My heart is broken because I knew that eventually I would lose her, but not in the way she went." Harrison had flown in from Jamaica--the city paid for Green's funeral expenses and Forest City Ratner footed the tab for her relatives to fly from Jamaica to NYC).