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  1. Basoodler

    Everybody says they’re allergic to something these days, which has resulted in a tendency for claims of allergies to be taken less seriously than they might otherwise. Add to that the generic sensitivity and concern of a corrections officer toward a 22-year-old and the mix is fatal.

    At least it was for MIchael Saffioti, whose sin was failure to appear on a misdemeanor pot charge. But he surrendered on the warrant and was treated to a courtesy stay at Snohomish County Jail. When time came for breakfast, he tried to make sure the oatmeal was up to snuff. In his case, that meant it wouldn’t kill him as he had a severe dairy allergy.

    According to the jail, it was another case of stercus accidit, and they did everything they could, because, well, that’s what you do when you’re a screw. Saffioti’s mother didn’t buy it, but she wasn’t in the jail and her motherly belief means little without proof.

    Like most jails, there’s video. Her attorney, Cheryl Snow, fought for it. At first, they claimed it was deleted. Then she found reference to it in a report. They said they would send it. They didn’t. She again demanded it, and they gave an edited copy that only showed the aftermath. And again she demanded it, and finally got a copy that shows Saffioti trying to ascertain whether breakfast would kill him. After taking a few bites, Saffioti told the CO he needed immediate help and was blown off. And then he died in his cell. From KIROTV:

    Saffioti’s mother is suing the Snohobish County Jail for $10 million for killing her son and ignoring his need for treatment.

    This young man’s death reflects the toxic mix of dehumanization, neglect and deceit. Inmates complain constantly about nearly every aspect of life in jail. The accommodations don’t suit many, and there isn’t much reason not to complain. The product is that complaints are ignored.

    After all, to the guards, these aren’t people, but inmates. That’s what inmates do, complain. Do something about the complaints and they’ll just be back complaining about something else tomorrow. Ignore them and they’ll still be back, but it’s easier to just ignore them again tomorrow.

    The problem is that every once in a while, a complaint, like a life-threatening food allergy, is real. Not just real, but brutally real. To take the time to listen, to hear, to take seriously, a complaint is more than a guard can bear. Jails are all about routine, and routine applies to everyone. To expect CO’s to treat inmates like people, to take the time to distinguish between real complaints and the typical noise is to expect them to be caring, intelligent people. That’s not part of the routine.

    The facile retort is that if the kid suffered from a life-threatening allergy that guards weren’t sufficiently sensitive about, all he need do to avoid a problem is not commit crimes, appear in court as required and go about his life among those who can better cater to his needs. This “solution,” of course, ignores that people make mistakes and, more importantly, the consequence of a mistake isn’t the death penalty. Saffioti died. While not keeping his nose clean initiated the chain of events, death is not an acceptable outcome.

    But then, there remains a question about why the guard failed to take seriously Saffioti’s allergy. Had he suffered from diabetes, it might have been taken more seriously. Is death by anaphylaxis somehow less of a death?

    There is another piece of the toxic mix of neglect and dehumanization in the Snohobish County Jail that needs to be noted. Allergies are seized upon by many people today as a convenient excuse to avoid contact with things that they would prefer to avoid. There are very real allergies, and there are people who are totally full of it. Don’t like the smell of someone’s perfume? Pretend you have an allergy. Voila, Problem solved.

    But one person’s annoyance and feigned allergy diminishes concern for allergies in general. When everybody has an allergy, nobody is taken is seriously as they should be. And your dislike to Chanel No. 5 isn’t worth a dead young man on a cell floor.

    No, the death of Michael Saffioti isn’t attributable to too many people claiming phony allergies to make their lives more convenient. It is attributable to a jail that was told by a human being that he could die from his allergy, and just didn’t give a damn. But it doesn’t help to reduce something as serious for Michael Saffioti to a joke, either.

    Finally, there may not be a great deal of information on the initial charge of misdemeanor marijuana possession, or the cause of his failure to appear and subsequent surrender, but one key detail drives home the pointlessness of this young man’s death:

    In an ironic twist, just four months after Saffioti’s death, marijuana use and sale became legal in the state of Washington, approved by voters in the November 2012 election.

    Another casualty of the War on Drugs, maybe one of the last to die for it in Washington State. Does it make all the drug warriors feel powerful to know that they saved society from this plague and it cost Michael Saffioti his life?



  1. Basoodler
    I figure it may be worth my time to highlight some of the more outrageous crimes against humanity that were justified by the war on drugs.

    Starting yesterday with the new Mexico man who was subjected to cavity searches of one type or another .. all of which came up empty.. (8 to be exact) probable. Cause was based on the fact that L.E. thought he was standing in such a way that would indicate that he had drugs hidden in his anus. (Clinched cheeks).. his only true crime was running a stop sign

    Found here

    This story is another example of what the war on drugs has become.
  2. Built for sin
    Wow...this is true injustice and another life los to the war on drugs. What makes this story especially upsetting, is that Saffioti was in county due to such a stupid offense and quite simply just made a mistake and missed court....slightly angers me, and at the same time just makes me sad. Citizens must be aware of these facts and not tolerate it....I wish there was a petition to require a homicide investigation on the guards and prison staff...but of course not. My heart goes out to his family.
  3. AthenaNoctua
    Oatmeal, being a grain and, therefore, Neolithic is 'killer' by definition.

    Look at all the things to which people tend to be allergic/intolerant, and then look at when we began cultivating them.

    Do you know WHY people get fat...? Obesity is a food intolerance, too, y'know, caused by eating an incorrect diet. Most depts of health in most Western countries have you brainwashed to believe that unhealthy food is healthy (and vice versa).

    Of COURSE people are allergic to grains - our bodies don't know what to do with 'em! We only began cultivating 'em less than 10k years ago!

    EVERYONE, whether they believe themselves to be or not - is intolerant to grains; not only because they, along with starches and fructose, are the #1 cause of obesity, but because they're immunosuppressant (ever had a cold...? Give up grains, fructose and starches and I can GUARANTEE you'll NEVER suffer again!). If we were supposed to eat grains, the NOBODY would suffer from coeliac disease. There's a whole laundry list of diseases, disorders and conditions for which our adherence to a LFHC Neolithic diet is to blame: -

    Cancer (the likelihood if developing many are increased if you're overweight. Also the Inuit, the healthiest people on Earth, don't suffer from ANY form of cancer)
    Crohn's disease
    Dementia (aka type 3 diabetes)
    Diabetes (yes even type 1)
    Gallstones (though you try telling the NHS this!)

    Think that's most of 'em. To improve your health - and/or to lose weight - Eat To Your Genes (LCHF Palaeo).
  4. textosteron
    Sorry for continuing a probable off-topic, but i have to say it: this with Inuits is my main argument whenever i'm trying to explain to someone the simple fact - us humans are animals biologically, and as such, we are equipped for feeding on what the environment has for us: meat, fish, vegetables, berries, nuts and so on.
    Find me a chimp that bakes bread and i'll pretend to be one for a week.
    Inuits not only do not know about cancer, they suffer from a very few health problems in general.
    And you're right, problems started piling up when we started feeding on grains massively. And, this was taken to a whole new level at the beginning of the last century with cereals, Kelloggs & co, who forced the idea that this type of diet is not only not wrong but even healthy, just to be able to sell you a pack of grains for 10x it's actual value. We stayed on that track for nearly a century, it is only now that we're starting to realize the damage of venturing off the paleo ways.

    My wife's an awesome nutritionist-dietitian and we're both quite deep into the subject, you wouldn't believe the problems she encounters when trying to explain these things, even to medical professionals. I remember a jerk of a MD with just one extra year of education laughing at her face, try then to explain to some regular guy that fats are good for him...

    We have an old folk wisdom/saying here in Serbia, that roughly translates to something like: there are no fat butchers, just fat bakers :)

    On-topic: i am sorry for the guy, and cannot even imagine what his mother is going through.
    Thing is, while i do admit that prisoners can be real pricks out of plain boredom, they're nothing compared to the prison guards. They are not really the brightest folks around and i hate the sons of bitches, not for some moronic childish reason but because i learned from first hand what kind of a stupid & sadistic piece of shit you have to be to love that job. This is not really surprising coming from someone with IQ 50 and load of personal problems (he was probably turned down by a police academy). This is what you get from time to time when you place a sadistic asshole with no respect for human life on such position.
    At least you have video cams in US prisons covering every step so the next poor piece of shit will think twice before doing something stupid like this. I wonder will he be thrown into general prison population as he should, or will they treat him with the snitch block where he'll be safe (if they find him guilty at all that is).
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