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Gov. Scott signs bill for law officers to improve response to those suffering a diabetic emergency

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Gov. Rick Scott has signed HB 201, a bill sponsored by Tampa Democratic state Rep. Ed Narain that extends education to law enforcement officers and improve response to those suffering a diabetic emergency.

Also known as the “Arthur Green Jr. Act,” the law is named after the late Arthur Green Jr., a longtime Tampa resident and community activist who was stopped by Tampa Police after driving erratically on North Central Avenue in Seminole Heights on the afternoon of April 16, 2014.  Green had swerved into oncoming traffic and had sideswiped a couple of cars before a witness called 911.

After a TPD officer asked Green to step out of his car, Green refused, saying he had done nothing wrong. That led the officer to try to pull Green out of his car. A lawsuit claims that officers then dragged Green from the vehicle and placed him face down on the pavement. The officers tried to arrest him. Eights minutes into the incident, Green lost consciousness and ultimately died.

He was suffering from a diabetic seizure.

The Green family has filed a lawsuit against the Tampa Police Department.

The bill aims to help officers appropriately identify a diabetic emergency, avoid misidentification and prevent future tragedies for those Floridians who are among the nearly 26 million Americans who have the disease.

“On behalf of the Young-Green family, we feel a tremendous honor knowing that this legislation bearing the name of Arthur Green Jr. will be a lasting reminder of a wonderful man whose tragic demise will not be in vain,” said Lena Young Green, widow of Arthur Green Jr., after the bill passed in the House back in April.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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