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As noted in a 1996 Amnesty International report:
(PD) Excessive force has been routinely used against mentally ill or disturbed people, who are engaged in nonthreatening behavior. In Fairfield, California in June 1996, James Parkinson, an unarmed, mentally ill man running naked around a swimming pool, died following being sprayed by police with pepper spray, hit with a taser gun and shackled face-down......
Fatal shooting of Margaret Laverne Mitchell - a frail, mentally ill, homeless 55-year-old woman - by a (LAPD) officer in May 1999.... Police said the officer shot Mrs Mitchell when she lunged at him with a screwdriver while he and another officer were questioning her about a shopping cart she was pushing
....problem of police using excessive force, including deadly force, against mentally ill or disturbed people who could have been subdued through less extreme measures. Further cases have been reported since then, including suicidal individuals shot by police after they had harmed themselves but not attacked other people. For example, in February 1999 Ricardo Clos is reported to have died after being shot at 38 times by Los Angeles sheriff?s deputies who had responded to a call for help from his wife after he had cut himself in the neck. Police reportedly opened fire after he threw the knife towards them (missing them)
On June 13, 2001, 9 officers shot 48 a Idriss Stelley, experiencing a mental health crisis, while he sat in an empy theater in downtown SF Sony Metreon.
PD Brutalization of the mentally ill is generally exonerated through "fear for one's life" , while fatalities are deemed "suicide by Police" or "death due to Excited Delirium", an controvertial, non medical definition.
The families of the victims are demonized, as responsible for their loved one's illness, or failing to protect their lives, and mocked by the press and police partisans.

Help us End Police Abuse of the Mentally ill! Fight 4 Reform !

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  • 23
  • Human Rights
  • Dec 4, 2006
  • English

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