It is a shame to have our public servants do so little for us, much less murder us in cold blood. It may not be all of the police, but the ones who are good to people should be angry that these individuals are abusing their power, and they should speak out against them. So far, not a whisper.
Recently in Sacramento, an individual named Joseph Mann, who had a mental illness, was shot 16 times at a distance by a police officer. His family was hoping the police would be able to detain him and take him to the hospital for psychiatric treatment. Mann had a knife and was acting erratically, however could have easily been detained by the amount of officers on scene. Instead, 16 shots rang out, and Mann is another person with mental illness who is dead.
16 shots to kill a man. 16 shots to kill a woman. It could be any of us who have mental illness.
In 2014, Mark Wisley spoke the words, “We called for help, and they killed my son.” In Brunswick, North Carolina, a teenager named Keith Vidal, who struggled with Schizophrenia, died at the hands of a police officer. It was quoted that the officer said, “We don’t have time for this. Tase that kid now. Let’s get him out of here,” even though the first responders had Vidal calmed down. All he had as a weapon was a small eyeglass screwdriver. Instead of being transported to the hospital like the first responders were prepared to do, he was shot and killed in his home in front of his family with no remorse from the last responder, an officer only there for one minute and 10 seconds.
“We don’t have time for this.” I take this personally. You don’t have time for ME, right? You don’t have time for US?
According to the Virginia-Pilot, Virginia, my home and current home state, is officially the frontrunner in police-on-mentally-ill violence. Also, as of this year, the Washington Post states a quarter of fatal police shootings are against the mentally ill.
16 shots at a distance in front of family. Sacramento. Joseph.
We don’t have time for this. Keith. 1 minute and 10 seconds.
I am still not taking that disturbing light away from racial deaths at the hands of the police. Mental illness chooses no race in particular and owes no one mercy. Joseph Mann was African American man and Keith Vidal was Caucasian teenager. I can list more incidences like Mann and like Vidal and so many different races, genders, and sexualities. I’ll correct myself…mental illness chooses anyone, and it can get us killed.