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Black Woman Held in Psych Ward After Police Cast Truths About Her Upper Middle Class Life as Delusions

Avatar • Aug 5, 2015

Kam-Brock

It’s one level of foolishness when black people, especially those with natural hair are discriminated against at work, in schools, or in the military, but it’s another thing when people are sent into mental institutions!

Kam Brock, a Long Island woman, was committed to Harlem Hospital for eight days in September 2014 under a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. It all started when police pulled her over in her BMW on suspicion of drug use, and confiscated her car although no drugs were found. When she went to retrieve it the next day, she went to the wrong police station, and then drama ensued. Brock admits that she became emotional, but once the police began questioning her sanity things only got worse.

According to Brock’s lawyer, the police hoodwinked Brock into thinking she was going to her car, but instead took her to an ambulance where she was strapped down, sedated, and taken to Harlem Hospital. Hospital records indicate that her doctors did not believe that Brock worked as a banker or was followed on Twitter by President Obama — both true and easily verifiable claims — and her treatment plan, which included group therapy, sedatives, and lithium, was to get her to deny those claims.

The ambulance transported Ms. Brock to Harlem Hospital where Brock was strapped down and forcibly sedated via injection. During her stay, she was repeatedly subjected to intravenous sedations and administered lorazepam and lithium. She was retained in the hospital for 8 days, during which time the hospital refused to check Ms. Brock’s claims that she was a gainfully employed banker with no mental issues. The Hospital went as far as to notate Ms. Brock’s statements in the hospital records but never attempted to verify them. Further, the hospital records reflect absolutely no violent behavior from Ms. Brock or justification for her involuntary detainment.

In an effort to show the psychiatric staff that she did not require psychiatric hospitalization and that she did not belong there, Ms. Brock truthfully explained that she was a banker and that her Twitter account was followed by President Obama. The staff interpreted these statements as an indication that Ms. Brock was suffering from delusions. Part of her treatment involved being forced to “admit” that her career was a fabrication and that she had never interacted on Twitter with the President.

After an 8‑day confinement, during which she continually demanded to be released, Ms. Brock was discharged from the hospital with no warning or explanation. She says she was given discharge papers and told she was free to go with no comment on her progress or mental state. Simply, they let her out the back door and hoped she’d go away.

The notes from her hospital treatment plan are downright chilling;

Objective: Patient will verbalize the importance of education for employment and will state that Obama is not following her on Twitter,” the document reads. It also notes, “patient’s weaknesses: inability to test reality, unemployment.”

Now I’m unsure if this has any bearing on the story, but Brock also happens to be a rapper, and goes by her stage name Akilah Brock. She was still making music and performing in September of last year before all of this began, so it’s unknown how the police saw her — as Kam the banker, or as Akilah the rapper. Ironically, respectability politics, in Brock’s case attempting to assure the police that she was a hard worker and a good person, as she describes, got her committed into a mental institution. The icing on the cake is that she was released, without an apology or explanation, but with a $13,000 medical bill! Brock is now suing the hospital for unspecified damages, and we wish her the best of luck.

As a Harlem resident, I’m very worried about the ability of police and doctors to agree that I need mental help if I happen to be well educated, affluent, and wielding influence. Driving while black in America can not only get you killed, but can land you in a psych ward for over a week. What is this, the 19th century where women, black people, and the “socially inept” are locked in mental institutions for no reason?

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About Klassy Kinks

KlassyKinks.com founder and editor, Ijeoma Eboh, is on a mission to change perceptions of kinky textured hair around the world. You can find her on social media @klassykinks.

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FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago

What the hell?! How was this even legal??

mai-buns
mai-buns
5 years ago

Maybe somebody will actually start caring about how people-(especially Black people) with mental illness are treated. This is how people with mental illness are treated all the time, we get handled roughly, thrown around, excessive force is always used because of the magical super-strong Black negro myth. Our rights are null. Yes the police can come to your house and take you away to a mental ward if you are deemed a threat to yourself or others, no, there’s nothing you can do about it. Instead of thinking ‘Damn, she wasn’t crazy she didn’t deserve to be treated this way’… Read more »

Ajah
Ajah
5 years ago
Reply to  mai-buns

Where I live in CA the Latinos get it the worst because we are right there by the border. A few months back we had a rally to support a man’s family as well as the Latino community because the border patrol detained him at the border and started beating and kicking him even when he was on the ground already. They ended up killing him. He wasn’t even mentally ill. He was just an immigrant that they thought was an illegal. He was walking through the line, not many illegals will go through the line to come over to… Read more »

Sharon Wiley
Sharon Wiley
5 years ago
Reply to  Ajah

They too busy kissing each other bottom and taking up for the suppose to be protect and serve boys.

AfroAmy
AfroAmy
5 years ago
Reply to  mai-buns

@disqus_odgWQM7cZX:disqus I agree with you. The bigger issue here is that Black people are definitely mistreated. Be it in Mental Institutions, by the Police or in society as general. As is quoted “driving while being black” is all that could warrant the “side eye” and all sorts of suspicions!
I hope she sues the Hospital and the Police and wins Big!

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago

I kind of suspect there is more to this story than what’s here. I’m inclined to think she said and done some others things that alarmed them.. In the US, it is very hard to get an adult involuntarily committed to psych ward unless they are CLEARLY suicidal or homocidal. And even then for 8 days when mental health facilities don’t have that many open beds to begin. Ummmm. There are all kinds of mentally ill people living on the streets saying they are the president so them committing her for saying the president follows her on Twitter makes me… Read more »

Rose
Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Cosita

You mean kinda like its hard for a police officer to shoot a person dead with no just cause??? Or arrest a woman and her end up dead for failing to signal??? Sure…
..

k.h.
k.h.
5 years ago
Reply to  Rose

Do you have a mentally ill relative or friend? Because I do. With a grandmother that has schizophrenia I totally understand what Cosita means. my grandmother has been homeless because she will “see” millions of spiders coming from get ceiling and panicked and left. I used to ask my mom why the doctors wouldn’t take her and she would tell me how they can’t force her to take the medicine or stay in a home. It IS hard getting help for mentally ill people. And it’s different from just pulling a gun out on someone in a hasty decision or… Read more »

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago
Reply to  k.h.

Thank you. Exactly. My aunt was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic. Anyone who has never had to deal with severe mentally ill adult would not get how difficult it is to get them involuntarily committed.

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago
Reply to  Rose

I’m talking about the doctors. Have you dealt with mental health physicians and trying to get an adult involuntarily committed?

Ajah
Ajah
5 years ago
Reply to  Cosita

I work with homeless Veterans and I have had 8 clients that say that they have the direct line to President Obama, but what people should know is that just because she is being followed by president Obama 9 times out of 10 it’s an intern and if something seems important enough for him to speak on it then he’ll speak on it. My sister isn’t mentally ill, but she is a pathological liar. Yeah I was wondering myself what made them want to pull her over? It couldn’t have been “Hey there is a black person in a nice… Read more »

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago
Reply to  Ajah

I can see the cops acting that way but cops don’t commit people psych wards. I really hate to think a physician would commit someone just for those reasons and for that long when there are people who really desperately need the help. Suicide watch is what 48 hours? Look at the number of veterans committing suicide while waiting to get help from the VA. My aunt had only one child but was claiming to be giving birth to children for decades even past child bearing age. She was trying to claim other people’s kids as hers.

Reina Benoir
Reina Benoir
5 years ago
Reply to  Ajah

Yeah I was wondering myself what made them want to pull her over? It couldn’t have been “Hey there is a black person in a nice car; clearly she’s selling drugs, so let’s get her.”

Why not? The police have been known to do this type of thing all the time. It’s stop and frisk on wheels.

DIANE LANE
DIANE LANE
5 years ago
Reply to  Reina Benoir

White men can’t deal with the fact that a Black person can be educated and have a wonderful job! LOL, now she will BE RICH because of their IGNORANT BIGOTRY! Pull her over again please!

Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu
5 years ago

I don’t know why she thought the Obama thing was relevant, and maybe that’s what they didn’t believe, but that doesn’t excuse the cops. They overreacted, and didn’t even check to verify her claims of being a banker, the rest of her background , or even the Twitter thing which would have taken seconds .

Mwelwa Chishimba
Mwelwa Chishimba
5 years ago

America is a scary place, where I never want to live.

Carmen Kadji
Carmen Kadji
5 years ago

Amen !

kaydenpat
kaydenpat
5 years ago

Live here now. Thankfully, these type of stories are still rare. Not downplaying police misconduct but America still has its plusses (just like everywhere else). There will always be racism here though so those of us who choose to live here must keep up the fight.

Ajah
Ajah
5 years ago

I wouldn’t side eye them, but it’s because I’m aware it’s not the president that is following them it’s most likely an intern.

k.h.
k.h.
5 years ago
Reply to  Ajah

Still. I would be doubtful an intern, in control of one of the ways the most important man in America communicates to the world, would follow someone random regardless. An intern does not control his twitter. Organizing for Action is the group that controls all of his social media. But again, I would still question why they followed her in the first place. If I was at Starbucks getting coffee and my barista told me Obama was following them on twitter I would think they were a) lying or b) delusional. But hey I guess to me it’s common sense… Read more »

Sharon Wiley
Sharon Wiley
5 years ago

They pass sick do cops finish school? Some of the stuff you hear they do you got to be simple minded to do. SMH

k.h.
k.h.
5 years ago

Ok so how do you know it wasn’t her skin? ??or the color of her shirt??? Please have a seat honey. Believe it or not but white people have also died at the hands of white police. It just doesn’t get the media coverage. Be realistic, do you really think they arrested her because she didn’t have her hair flat ironed? Because i don’t?. Maybe I shouldn’t have said it has nothing to do with it because I can’t assume, but neither can you or the writer in that case.

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  k.h.

And THATS my point dear! Just like it could have been the color of skin that got her arrested, it could have just as easily been bc of her locks, duh! And nobody said that whites don’t die while in police custody! This article is not even about that, lol! So YOU have a seat boo! Girl please!

k.h.
k.h.
5 years ago

I know that.….I never said she lied. ««Reading is fundamental. I just said I would probably have been suspicious too.

Carole
Carole
5 years ago

How again are these stories rare??? We hear about different ones happening 2 or 3 times a day.

k.h.
k.h.
5 years ago

.…???lol I asked how do you know it wasn’t the color of her shirt as a joke. If any prejudice happened it was because of her skin most likely NOT HER HAIR duhh. The example of the boy was to show police F up and make mistakes all the time regardless of race. But YOU honey are the one that mentioned black ppl dying in the first place so.…..since the article, like you said, is not even about that, how about you and all your irrelevance please leave? You’re not going to change my opinion on anything, and I’m sure… Read more »

Torie Amza
Torie Amza
5 years ago
Reply to  k.h.

Black ppl have historically been treated negatively when wearing natural afro hair vs wearing straight hair, so what are you talking about? The article is reiterating how Blacks are mistreated at the hands of police, but not DISPUTING that whites have not died at the hands of the police, so, again, what are you talking about??? And what boy are you referring to? LOL!

colbey
colbey
5 years ago

right. her bill should have been MUCH higher.

no, i’m not slamming you or something. that is an incredibly small amount for 8 days in a hospital. i was in the hospital for…13 or 14 days, i think…almost 7 years ago. the bill was over $100,000.

Mistress of the Mid-Afternoon
Mistress of the Mid-Afternoon
5 years ago
Reply to  colbey

*faints*

Honestly, I have no idea what hospital bills should be like. I had no idea they would get into the ten thousands or hundred thousands! That’s ridiculously expensive, how do they expect anyone to pay?

Thank you for shedding some much needed light on that.

Kenya Lavergne
Kenya Lavergne
5 years ago
Reply to  colbey

She was in a psychiatric hospital… not medical. Wonder what her discharge paperwork stated?

colbey
colbey
5 years ago

yes. 3‑day hold is typical/average, i think. it happened to me once. i was NOT acting violently either. i had to go before a judge, though, to get released. the judge got to decide, all on his own, if i was a danger to anyone. i don’t remember my regular doctor ever being contacted; he wasn’t at the “trial.’ all the judge had was whatever the doctors, nurses, and staff said/wrote about me. some scary *&^*$. so i agree–there is more here. the abrupt, shove-her-out-the-door discharge/release; the fact that she was there for EIGHT days without any contact with anyone outside; the… Read more »

colbey
colbey
5 years ago

i think it would depend on why they pulled her over. was she driving erratically? all this says is suspicion of “drug use.” what does that even mean?? usually it’s suspicion of driving while drunk or impaired. WHY did they pull her over, and go from there.

Torie Amza
Torie Amza
5 years ago
Reply to  colbey

But there was no mention of drugs being in her system in any of the articles I read, nor reckless driving. The problem is that she was driving while BLACK.

colbey
colbey
5 years ago

also, it would have taken MINIMAL effort to check. yet none was done. (that we know of. there’s a lot of people working in one psych unit. don’t tell me that at least one of them didn’t get either tired of her constantly claiming those things, or actually curious, and take a peek online.) i don’t believe, in the U.S., that there is anywhere that a person can be held AGAINST THEIR WILL for EIGHT days without some sort of action–either a family member was contacted and “signed her in” (and had the legal right to do so), or she… Read more »

Cami
Cami
5 years ago

Running a simple background check on her would’ve been, as my aunt would say, “too much like right.” They could have and should have, but at the end of the day, they didn’t want to and no one was going to force them. So basically, the onus was on the young woman to prove the facts of her story, which she tried to do but it all fell on deaf ears. At least in jail, she would’ve been allowed to make one phone call to her parents, another family member or an attorney, but evidently not for a psych ward! And… Read more »

SR Lecky
SR Lecky
5 years ago

Please before making such a statement take some injections from a mental hospital and record yourself discusing the situation sensibly. Maybe you will find you can be a nut too in that simple test… Harsh comment when you didn’t live the situation. Also, I am sure that is not the first or only thing she said. She was more than likely trying to add to her validity as a stable person.

Torie Amza
Torie Amza
5 years ago

Umm, why did you post the link to this article? I’d read an article that said this white kid had tried to run the police over with his car. What does this have to do with anything. And according to Brown’s friend’s report, the officer nearly drove over he and Brown when he was backing up to confront them, which would be enough to provoke anyone to violently angry. Wouldn’t you be??? And you are correct, some of the Blacks that have died at the hands of police have threatened or attacked police simply to avoid arrest, but concerning Michael Brown,… Read more »

k.h.
k.h.
5 years ago
Reply to  Torie Amza

? ok but if someone leaned into your window and attacked you after committing robbery would you shoot them? I would. To me chances are if they robbed somewhere they were probably armed and if they then attacked me of course I’m going to retaliate tf? Lol look you not finna change my mind on nun tbh. Sorry but you not. Lol actually I’m not sorry?. Look at my other comment and see why I posted it?. If I already explained it im nt finna do it again.

k.h.
k.h.
5 years ago
Reply to  Torie Amza

Plus the autopsy proved the car was not in motion while he was shot like the officer said (lied)

Torie Amza
Torie Amza
5 years ago
Reply to  k.h.

Twit, you didn’t answer my question. I asked, if someone sped toward you, nearly backing into you with a car, would that NOT make you violently angry???????? Please take note: why do you believe the officer who shot the white kid lied, but not the officer that killed the Black kid??? Especially when there were several eye witnesses and recordings to corroborate the story of Mike Brown’s friend? Hmmmm.….You obviously have major issues.

k.h.
k.h.
5 years ago
Reply to  Torie Amza

And you didn’t answer my question either idiot?! Lol you wanna call someone a twit and say they have issues, but you don’t even have basic reading comprehension. To answer your question, yes obviously I would use violence. . BUT THEY PROVED THE OFFICER LIED. The car didn’t move. God, you’re so freaking retarded. That was my point. They proved it. Just like they proved Mike ATTACKED the officer. You have issues.….. smh. You wanna be childish and call people you don’t know names because they have a different opinion than you.….yea lol you have serious issues. This is the… Read more »

k.h.
k.h.
5 years ago
Reply to  Torie Amza

And no if I just committed a crime and an officer tried to speak to me I would not attack them. Tf. That would only make Ish worse. But then again, I’m not stupid enough to commit a crime so.…

Plus In my opinion I think if he did almost hit them it was an accident

Torie Amza
Torie Amza
5 years ago

Once again, obviously you ARE a twit. You have gone off on a tangent, ranting about things you don’t even know. Where was it reported that the officer who killed the white dude lied??? What article did you read that from? And the whole reason that Mike Brown attacked the officer that eventually killed him was BECAUSE THE OFFICER NEARLY RAN INTO HIM!! THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT!!! DUUHHH DUMMY!!!! Those are cold, hard, facts, NOT SIMPLY MY OPINION!!! And please don’t pray for me: anyone who would dishonor God’s name by using it so casually doesn’t need to pray for… Read more »

k.h.
k.h.
5 years ago
Reply to  Torie Amza

Lmao do you need the definition of a fact honey? Michaels friend’s say that the officer tried to run them over. However, unbiased witnesses report that the officer only put the car in reverse to keep up with the moving group since he had been stationary in his car while boys continued walking. Now wether the officer tried to run them over is “he said she said”, meaning it’s NOT A FACT you retard. And as for a real FACT yes it was proven the officer that shot Zach lied. Here’s the link. Look at the third Story Highlight if… Read more »

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  k.h.

I see you’re back, weirdo, despite claiming,“This is the last time I will deal with this foolishness. If you still don’t understand my point, that’s your own problem.” LOL!!! It’s really not that serious…poor you.

jk
jk
5 years ago

This is a great example of the race stigma that is associated with the mental health industry in this county. i really hope she goes for a Law Suit! The way the mentally ill are treated is a CRIME! and America need a revolution in this area

Camille
Camille
5 years ago

Scary. Some people need to lose their jobs. I wish her the best with her lawsuit and I hope the scrutiny that this brings to the police station and the psych ward results in some changes.

Shaak Dovah
Shaak Dovah
5 years ago

But there are no double standards of course, and #ALLlivesmatter 🙂 ! Keep closing your eyes, America, it’s obviously what you do best.

k.h.
k.h.
5 years ago

.…..this happened a while ago. And it has nothing to do with her hair, unlike the first sentence infers. And tbh what would you think if someone you’ve never heard of told you the president follows them on twitter? I would probably give them the side eye too if they weren’t an activist or something. If course that doesn’t excuse them locking her up though.…

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  k.h.

But how do you know it had nothing to do with her hair? That’s like saying that all of these Black ppl who have been dying at the hands of police has nothing to do with their color :/

k.h.
k.h.
5 years ago
Reply to  SKEEWEE

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/08/06/an-unarmed-white-teen-was-shot-dead-by-police-his-family-asks-where-is-the-outrage/

It wasn’t even him that was doing anything wrong. Michael brown had actually just ROBBED a place. Then he ATTACKED the officer. I don’t think he deserved to die, but all the black people that die aren’t always innocents that did no harm (like Treyvon)

kaydenpat
kaydenpat
5 years ago
Reply to  k.h.

According to this article, her claims were true as President Obama’s account follows over 600,000 people on twitter.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/exclusive-woman-held-psych-ward-obama-twitter-claim-article‑1.2159049

Mahogany
Mahogany
5 years ago

Well I do hope that she sues not only the hospital but the police department as well for wrong doing. I can’t believe they detained this woman for 8 days without trying to verify her identity. Smh

trina
trina
5 years ago

Can we see more style icons, hair tips? Enough of this, I come here to read about hair.

Lucky502
Lucky502
5 years ago
Reply to  trina

Your comment is very telling.

kaydenpat
kaydenpat
5 years ago
Reply to  trina

Can you not skip over the stories you aren’t interested in?

Ajah
Ajah
5 years ago

Well she should win for sure. So a black woman is driving a BMW, so clearly she sales drugs cause black people aren’t allowed to have nice cars. They don’t find jack, but yet they take her in go through the whole deal. I would most definitely have a high irritation at that moment. Couldn’t they have just chocked the attitude at the tow yard as a misunderstanding and high irritability instead of thinking that she is dillusional? One quick phone call would have cleared that situation up. So then they hospitalize her and force drugs in her veins because… Read more »

PsychDoc
PsychDoc
5 years ago

As a practicing NY psychiatrist, this story is pretty disturbing. So disturbing in fact in makes me wonder if there is more to the story. She admits to getting “emotional” at the police station. Cannot comment specifically without an evaluation and more facts, but in general there are certain personality disorders with presentations mimicking Bipolar disorder and I wonder what exactly happened at the police station to result in her being brought to the ER. Also, it is common for people, bipolar, personality disordered, or healthy (family members of patients, for example) to have limited insight into the explanation of… Read more »

kaydenpat
kaydenpat
5 years ago
Reply to  PsychDoc

What’s shocking is not that she behaved emotional but that she was kept in a psych ward for an extended period of time. Why didn’t the psychiatrists check to see if her claims were true since they were easily verifiable? Nothing in her claims (being followed on twitter by President Obama, her job as a banker) were delusional.

crazygemini12
crazygemini12
5 years ago
Reply to  PsychDoc

I think quite a lot of this comes down to non-blacks’ noted inability to read black faces or apply the level of empathy that’s required to see and recognize emotions in others. I don’t work with psychiatrists but I am the token black working with psychologists and they’ve exhibited a lot of these attitudes and beliefs towards non-whites at work (most frighteningly, it’s a Forensic Psych department).

DIANE LANE
DIANE LANE
5 years ago
Reply to  PsychDoc

.…and sometimes its just plain RACISM that the cops subject an obviously intelligent person to. Remember the station is mostly white AND she could have been emotional, as many of us do, because of the fact of racism in America!!! Why is it when there is a BLACK PERSON whites immediately think that there is SOMETHING WRONG?

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

I’d read about this a while ago. Thanks so much for the update. I wonder if she can sue both police departments as well. It’s really a shame what was done to her, smh.

AJ
AJ
5 years ago

I’m pretty sure there is more to this story. I’m not saying the cops didn’t act shady, or that its not possible the hospital also completely and utterly dropped the ball, but like others have said already, it is no easy thing to keep an adult against their will for psych reasons. This is how the typical scenario would go: they would only have sedated her if she was acting violently, a doctor had to sign a legal document saying that she was a danger to herself and/or others — having a delusion or hallucination is not enough of a… Read more »

Mistress of the Mid-Afternoon
Mistress of the Mid-Afternoon
5 years ago

The actual freak? The racial profiling is bad in itself. But how incompetent are the police and hospital staff that they can’t do a simple background check and find her address/employer/ a single family member to vouch for her.And since when is 8 days in a hospital $13,000?
Something’s definitely not right here.

kaydenpat
kaydenpat
5 years ago

confiscated her car although no drugs were found.”

This whole story is sick. I hope she gets millions in her lawsuit. She should also file against the police for confiscating her car in the first place.

Don’t know what’s going on in this country between Black people and the police, but it’s really getting scary. Even being middle class and well educated is not enough to escape police scrutiny and mistreatment.

James Moore
James Moore
5 years ago

who talks about obamma on twitter in a situation like this? there is more to this story. sounds like a nut to me.

DIANE LANE
DIANE LANE
5 years ago

Reminds me of the professor who was having a hard time getting into his home, when the neighbors called on him.….THEN THE POLICE CAME. They didn’t believe that he lived in the neighborhood and arrested him. LOL, he did own the home and was a university professor and SUED BIG TIME!

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