Mental Health And Police Violence: How Crisis Intervention Teams Are Failing

Nationwide protests over police accountability and racial justice have reenergized longstanding efforts to fundamentally change how police departments respond to someone in a mental health emergency. Many are calling for removing or dramatically reducing law enforcement’s role in responding to those crisis calls unless absolutely necessary.

Since 2015, nearly a quarter of all people killed by police officers in America have had a known mental illness. Injuries, too, are common although they are less carefully tracked. There’s anecdotal evidence that botched encounters between police and people in a mental crisis are up during the pandemic.

One of the many examples: the recent shooting of a distraught 13-year-old boywith an autism spectrum disorder by Salt Lake City police after his mother called officers to report that her son was having “a mental breakdown.” The teenager is recovering from serious wounds. Then there’s the recent police shooting of a homeless man in crisis in Buffalo, N.Y. […]

By Eric Westervelt


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: