LAPD investigates delay in help for TSA worker

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 15, 2013 at 6:13 pm •  Published: November 15, 2013
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"'What do you mean he's dead?'" an airport officer replied, according to McClain. "'If he's dead, whatever, we can't make that determination.'"

After the airport officer found what he thought was a faint pulse, he took Hernandez in a wheelchair to an ambulance, said McClain, who gathered his account by talking to the airport officers involved.

Hernandez arrived at a hospital with no signs of life and was declared dead after doctors tried for about an hour to revive him.

It's not known when Hernandez died or if immediate medical attention could have saved his life, but McClain said unless a person is decapitated, a doctor must declare someone dead.

It's also unclear how the officer determined Hernandez was dead or if he was qualified to do so. Long refused to comment.

"Anytime anybody makes an allegation against one of our officers we have to investigate it, so of course we'll look into it," said LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith, the department spokesman.

Because police are often the first at the scene where there are injuries, California law requires officers receive first aid and CPR training in the academy and regular refreshers afterward.

A recent audit by Los Angeles Police Commission Inspector General Alex Bustamante found that the LAPD had a zero percent compliance rate. Only 250-sworn officers in the Metropolitan Division out of the department's more than 9,900 sworn officers received the refresher training, it states. Long is not an officer in the Metropolitan Division. Airport police have the training.

The head of the TSA union on Friday said he was appalled it took 33 minutes to get Hernandez aid. American Federation of Government Employees president J. David Cox Sr. called the situation "very concerning" and said there should be a serious re-examination of TSA security policies.

McClain said the incident highlighted a coordination failure and a power struggle between policing agencies.

Representatives of the LAPD, Los Angeles Fire Department and airport police said they couldn't comment on the delay because the entire incident is under review and extensive reports must be completed first.

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Tami Abdollah can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/latams