The cops were a big big part of this problem, but the person who answered the emergency call should’ve known how to deal with a suicidal person. My guess is sending over-excited armed cops wasn’t the solution.
When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail
It depends how you define the problem.
After one police apologist insisted that two dead victims were “waste cases” and “no loss to society,” I think some police apologists define those other people as the problem, elimination as the solution, and police as a force to decide who lives and who dies.
Also, will this cop become a trope namer?
The victim was white and male, so maybe NOW we’ll start hearing about how the police need to be brought under control?
This is by far the most on-the-money quote in the piece:
Denise Way, Justin’s mom, said that the detective relayed to her that “they told Justin to drop the knife and he didn’t—so they shot him because that’s what we do.”
Police bearing automatic weapons literally can’t think of any of way to deal with a depressed person who refuses to respect their authority than to shoot him.
“Respect the badge”
No until you respect our lives.
Definitely not a problem with a culture of violence in the police. For everybody else, yes, but not for the police.
There is a thing called crisis intervention training which exists for the sole purpose of teaching cops how to deal with people who are having mental health problems, but aren’t threatening to others. The exact name may vary from one jurisdiction to another, but most places ought to have something like it. The whole idea is for the responding officer to remain calm and empathetic (but firm) when interacting with the person in crisis. Being in the state of mind to make a suicide threat/attempt is exhausting, most folks can’t keep it up for long. After they get tired/come down to a less agitated state, it can then be dealt with as a medical rather than law enforcement problem (as it should be).
If you’re in this kind of situation:
- Ask the 911 dispatcher to send an officer with crisis intervention training.
- If they have no idea wtf you’re talking about, ask to speak with their supervisor.
Shit can of course still go sideways, but this way, you have a better chance of getting a first responder who will exercise tact in a difficult situation.
"Substantive reasoning"by the police officer, or the absence of it was the culprit.
I’ll try and find the recent study on IQ in the Police Forces across America, it stated that the average IQ was 30 points lower over the last few decades, not too hard to believe. It was on NPR a few weeks ago.
We train police to never place themselves in actual danger. We train them to respond to fear and uncertainty with lethal force. We train them to control every situation with violence.
We train them to do exactly this.
Every situation? I was aware that police are in no way required to actually stop crime or assist the public but I didn’t realise they were had to to assault or kill everyone they meet. Actually, that would explain a lot.
Gonna like this because insider knowledge is always a good thing, but it shouldn’t be on the caller’s shoulders to direct the LEOs to bring someone with a particular skillset. The dispatcher *should be able to make that decision and act upon it. And, for fuck’s sake, can we get a fucking nationwide training program for LEOs that instills even a modicum of empathy/tact?
That is an article I’d like to read–throw a link if you come across it, plz.
“Everyone respects the gun”
LIFEAID OPERATOR: “This is your help center for LifeAid, Mr. Chamberlain. Do you need help?”
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN SR.: “Yes, this is an emergency! I have the White Plains Police Department banging on my door, and I did not call them, and I am not sick! . . . They have their nine-millimeter Glocks at the ready. They’re getting ready to kill me or beat me up.”
Maybe Freddie Gray ran away from police because he had a psychic premonition they were going to kill him. Or maybe he heard the story about the elderly Marine veteran who accidentally triggered his medical alert device and was shot to death by police who came to check on him. Or he’d heard enough similar stories to understand there was a real chance they’d kill him for nothing. If you follow stories of mental illness in the news, cops respond to suicidal people by killing them all the time. Way too often.
You can hear audio of Chamberlain asking the operator for help.
A year or so ago I ran into a guy on the street who was staggering and clutching at his stomach – he told me he’d been stabbed; I asked if he wanted me to call an ambulance and he said yes. So, I did – I called 911 and asked them to send an ambulance. What we got instead was two cop cars full of (inexplicably) already-angry police officers; last I saw they were shouting a lot and had the patient spread-eagled against a wall – they shoved, frisked, and cuffed him.
I’m pretty sure that when I was a kid (the distant pre-911 age) there were different numbers to call depending on whether you wanted a firetruck or an ambulance or a bunch of guys with guns. Could we bring that back, maybe?
Since nobody I vote for ever gets elected, I can pretend that things would have been different if my candidates had been elected.
Everyone respects the gun, or gets shot, after which time it’s a moot point.