This week NYPD members in the Brooklyn we pre called to the scene of a naked man on a balcony wielding a fluorescent light bulb. An officer subsequently used his non lethal taser discharging it on the disturbed man who fell to his death. My condolence to his family. Many of us who have family members with medical conditions know the volatility of these folks who GOD did not grace with all the skills necessary to work, go to school and to fully survive on their own in this harsh world. Police Commissioner Kelly reviewed the matter and suspended the Officer and the supervising Lieutenant. http://www.canada.com/topics/news/world/story.html?id=2d853a54-85bd-4360-a73b-6b0508256904 Here is the sad video, which must be devastating to the loved ones of this man.
The police encounters with the mentally ill are very complicated especially since police are non medical personnel. However, we are first responders and the golden rule is ” take all the time you need” . As such as here when police use force and an injury or death occurs a strict review of the encounter is conducted by the Department, DA, as well as family, community, elected officials and community leaders. This death and other encounters in which a mentally ill person is hurt or injured can erode confidence in the police department. While I can’t change this tragedy, it reminds me that decisions I make must safeguard the public first and foremost. I respectfully ask the public and my friends to realize that Police Officer’s throughout the nation successfully render aid to thousands of mentally ill persons and their families without incident. This encounter reminds us we need to reflect on out methods, modify them and implement changes that enhance our efforts to the public. For more on such encounters read http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/jr000244c.pdf
The FBI magzine also has an article of interest. http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/fbi/crisis_interven.pdf