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Hullabaloo


Friday, October 30, 2015

 
Yes, he would have been executed in the US

by digby

No doubt about it:



It happens all the time. Our police are trained to shoot anyone who poses a threat.  There are other ways.  Of course.

Recall this post from a few months back:

The way we treat the mentally ill in this country is a crime

by digby

The Supreme Court ruled this week that police shooting an agitated schizophrenic woman is justified even if they could have stood outside in a hallway and left her alone in a room until more help arrived. The Justices felt that it was reasonable for them go bursting into the room and shoot her even though they had already been in there, had retreated and knew that she couldn't harm anyone but herself.
The incident involving Sheehan started when social worker Heath Hodge believed Sheehan’s schizophrenia had deteriorated to “gravely disabled” after Sheehan stopped taking her medication, and called police for help transporting her to a mental health facility for involuntary commitment and treatment.

When police showed up at the San Francisco group home where Sheehan lived without a warrant, Sheehan “reacted violently,” wielding a knife and telling the officers she would kill them. In response, officers safely retreated to a hallway. “The officers called for backup,” the Ninth Circuit decision explained, “but rather than waiting for backup or taking other actions to maintain the status quo or de-escalate the situation, the officers drew their weapons and forced their way back into Sheehan’s room, presumably to disarm, subdue and arrest her, and to prevent her escape (although there do not appear to have been any means of escape available). Sheehan once again threatened the officers with a knife, causing the officers to shoot Sheehan five or six times.”

Sheehan argued that officers failed to reasonably accommodate her disability by “forcing their way back into her room without taking her mental illness into account and without employing tactics that would have been likely to resolve the situation without injury to herself or others.”

And expert witness Lou Reiter provided testimony that officers, in fact, did not follow that protocol at all. He said officers are trained not to agitate or excite individuals who are mentally ill, to “respect the person’s comfort zone, use nonthreatening communications and to employ the passage of time to their advantage.” He also cited materials used by the San Francisco Police Department that advise officers to request backup, to calm the situation, to communicate, to move slowly, to assume a quiet, nonthreatening manner, to take time to assess the situation and to “give the person time to calm down.”

“Reiter deemed the officers’ second entry into Sheehan’s home tactically unreasonable under those policies,” the lower court noted, finding that the officers should have awaited back-up and considered seeking a warrant.

In Monday’s opinion, the justices noted that whether the officers followed training protocol is not a factor in granting police officers what is known as “qualified immunity,” the broad federal protection that shields the police and other government entities from civil rights lawsuits.

“Considering the specific situation confronting Reynolds and Holder, they had sufficient reason to believe that their conduct was justified,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court.
There is something called Crisis Intervention Team policing they can use. Some police departments are trying it. But mostly we just say they should shoot first and ask questions later.

H/t to TS