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Widow Thankful Bill Signed Into Law Providing Diabetes Training For Law Enforcement

Lena Young Green smiles in a picture with her late husband, Arthur Green Jr., who died while in police custody during a diabetic episode.

A new will soon take effect allowing for law enforcement to undergo diabetic emergencies training. The widow of the Florida man who inspired the bill is praising the effort.

Last year, when Arthur Green Jr. was seen swerving through traffic, Tampa authorities mistook him for a drunk driver and handcuffed him. Lena Young Green says her late husband was having a diabetic episode.

“Handcuffed on the ground, they were telling him to stop resisting,” she said. “And, when he stopped resisting, he was dead. And, I believe that if the officers had been trained and recognized that there was something else, and listened when somebody else mentioned diabetes, that they would have called paramedics that was less than six blocks away.”

Now, she says the newly signed “Arthur Green Jr. Act” will be a big help.

“My husband won’t come back with this, but if we can get to where officers stop long enough and first responders to recognize that there might be something else, I’m praying that that would help others to not have to deal with my family and I are dealing with,” added Young Green.

Law enforcement across the state would have the option of making diabetes training part of their curriculum. While she wishes the new law—taking effect October 1st—wasn’t optional, she says this is a start, and may later on down the road ask the Florida Legislature require the diabetes law enforcement training.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.