Police Tase Suicidal Man on Bridge, CAUSING His Fall, by Mary Neal
On the television shows, don't police talk suicidal people out of dangerous situations? Well, TV isn't real life, discovered this African American man from Columbia, MO, who was obviously stressed about his life and threatening suicide. See him fall from a bridge over an expressway, after police Tasered him twice, actually CAUSING his fall.
The man is now in the hospital in critical condition. There is apparently zero tolerance for emotional and mental problems among citizens (especially some citizens) by many police.
At least police did not Taser the man AFTER he fell, as law officers tased the already injured teenager in this news story, just in:
Unfortunately, persons having psychotic episodes are frequently tased to death in America. Mental patients are also regularly shot by peace officers. See below:
Mary........ this may be of particular interest to you, because I know of your passion and hard work bringing awareness and justice and support for the mentally ill. Just today in my area, in Jackson, MS, a mentally ill man was shot and killed by the police. They went to serve him with a warrant (which I'd never heard of this before), a lunacy warrant. In doing so, they said that he had a knife and was a threat, and they shot him . . . unfortunately, killing him. The family and the community rightfully so are outraged and in an uproar.
More details should be coming out, but I thought that it was a horrible thing. Here's the link to the news story and VIDEO:
Exactly who is in trouble? According to a report today by the Associated Press, many of our veterans are. Approximately 22,000 veterans have called a special suicide hot line during its first year of operation, averting 1,221 suicides. With so many of our soldiers transitioning home from battlefields suffering from depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and brain damaged due to war wounds, it is especially important to address the way police officers handle volatile situations involving persons who are sick. Why should our soldiers live through the desert experience only to die at home by Taser or gunshot by police officers? See the AP article here:
Unfortunately, families and concerned neighbors must be cautious about placing 911 calls when psychotic family members seem to pose a threat to themselves or others, realizing that many such calls end in disaster. One out of five Americans may suffer from some type of mental or emotional problem. Oftentimes, afflicted persons seek to self-medicate for depression with drugs and alcohol, rather than seeking psychiatric help. Teenagers seem increasingly susceptible to feelings of despair that lead to suicidal thoughts. During economic downturns, stress increases, and so do incidents of domestic violence, suicide, and psychotic episodes.
It is time to destroy the stigma attached to mental and emotional problems, so that folks will be more likely to seek help during a crisis such as the MO man suffered. It is time for lunacy calls to be handled by police without using Taser guns or deadly force, which too often end up being the same thing. It is time for CHANGE.
UPDATE ~ 7/29/08
Taser use questioned by ACLU
(http://www.columbia tribune.com/ 2008/Jul/ 20080727News001. asp)
By JOE MEYER of the Tribune’s staff
The condition of a man injured in a Taser-related fall improved yesterday as the Mid-Missouri chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement asking the Columbia Police Department to postpone a planned deployment of the stunning devices to more officers.
JESUS WEPT. John 11:35
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill