Breach Birth: Arizona Deputies Allegedly Force Woman to Give Birth in Shackles and Refuse to Allow Her to Hold Baby

A new alleged abuse is receiving national action from the ever-expanding controversies surrounding Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. We have been following the scandals surrounding Arpaio from his crackdown on illegal aliens to use of his office for a reality show to his attack on the press to his shaming of prisoners to his defense of deputies who rifle through the files of lawyers. Now, he is accused of forcing Alma Minerva Chacon to give birth in shackles when she went into labor the night of her arrest. What is interesting is that this is not the first such case of a shackled birth.

It is not clear from the recent coverage when this incident occurred. According to reports, nurses repeatedly demanded that deputies unchain the mother, but they insisted on her giving birth in shackles. The deputies also reportedly refused to allow her to be unchained to go to the bathroom to give a urine sample.

When Chacon gave birth to her baby girl, the deputies reportedly refused to let her hold the baby and declared that, if no one came to claim the baby within 72 hours, she would be turned over to state custody.

I have not found a response from the sheriff’s office to these allegations.

The Eighth Circuit recently ruled in favor of a mother in another case of a shackled birth, here.

Notably, that court stripped the responsible officer of immunity and allowed her to be sued. The same may be true in this case.

It would be interesting to learn how much Arpaio has spent defending lawsuits and answering various investigations.

For the Arizona story, click here.

25 thoughts on “Breach Birth: Arizona Deputies Allegedly Force Woman to Give Birth in Shackles and Refuse to Allow Her to Hold Baby

  1. Quote:

    GOP voters polled favor Arpaio for governor

    Survey results

    Survey of likely Republican voters on whom they would prefer for governor:

    Joe Arpaio — 47%
    Dean Martin — 22%
    Jan Brewer — 10%
    John Munger — 6%
    Vernon Parker — 6%
    Some other candidate — 3%
    Not sure — 7%
    Source: Rasmussen Reports

  2. Arpaio is a very, very smart man:


    Arpaio said his positive numbers are not surprising.

    “I don’t want to be egotistical,” he said. “But I knew where the results would come out.”

  3. Indescribably cruel. I would have had to be shackled first, if I had been this woman’s nurse.

    I remember a day in the ER when a young woman from a correctional center was admitted for a mental health evaluation. She was terrified and emotional. The deputies wanted to keep her in handcuffs and didn’t want her to speak to anyone alone — they wanted to be within earshot. I requested that they take off the cuffs and allowed her to write her responses. She sobbed uncontrollably throughout the evaluation, as she repeatedly referred to her children. The entire story is too long, but the outcome was positive — as positive as it could have been, given the circumstances. While I understand the flip side, there is no room for cruelty and a lack of humanity.

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