Open letter to President Barrack Obama –
Obama Peace For Ferguson – Over 14 fatal shootings of those who live with a mental illness – hands up or faces down
Obama Seeks Peace of Ferguson – Obama Please Speak on Police and the Mentally Ill Protect Them All
Ferguson (TPAZ) this is not to down play the serious situation our country still faces when it comes to race relations. Obama’s statements of finding a solution to better address the community need to heal took me back to the words of Phoenix Chief Garcia. After the death of Michelle Causseux, a mentally ill woman who was shot and killed by Phoenix police who were called to assist in carrying out a court order petition for mental health services, he said “We as a community need to heal”. Yet we haven’t healed, because nothing has changed.
What is different about the Michael Browns case? Is it because he is black? Is it because we, as a nation, are still divided on race issues? Or is it because of the outcry for some form of justice?
Does the mental health community need a Ferguson tragedy in order to be heard? I pose this question to you Mr. President. Must we riot in the streets, burn down our communities, and ask for CNN to play up our stories to be heard? There were over 14 fatal shootings of those who live with a mental illness in the past 8 months with their hands up or faces down. NOTHING was done, other than a “hey (pat on the back), we really need to do something about this.” NO justice for those families. No Obama asking for peace and healing for them. Just another day in the life of those without a voice.
Here is a list of individuals who were killed just this year. This is the result of untrained police officers and a lack of mental health services to meet their needs in crisis:
Several fatal shootings of mentally-ill individuals by U.S. cops in 2014 have occurred – and these are only the ones covered by local media:
January 5, 2014: A North Carolina family calls 911 for help when their schizophrenic son, Keith Vidal, begins acting out. The 90-pound 18-year-old winds up dead.
January 25, 2014: Lodi, California, police officers receive a call from a woman who says her brother—a veteran with PTSD—is “going crazy.” Less than twenty minutes later, her brother winds up dead.
March 16, 2014: Albuquerque officers fatally shoot James Boyd, a mentally-ill homeless man who they’re trying to prevent from camping in the foothills.
April 2, 2014: Matthew Pollow, a 28-year-old with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, is fatally shot by cops outside his mother’s apartment building in Boca Raton, Florida. In a statement, investigators say Polow charged a deputy with a screwdriver before being shot.
April 7, 2014: Tinoris Williams, a mentally-ill 31-year-old in Palm Beach, is shot in the head after struggling with an officer who mistakes him for a burglary suspect.
April 13, 2014: A Santa Clara, California, woman calls 911 to say she’s suicidal. Police open fire when she answers the door holding a baseball bat, fatally wounding the 53-year-old.
April 30, 2014: Milwaukee police fatally shoot Dontre D. Hamilton, 31, a schizophrenic who is laying face-down in the park when police arrive.
June 6, 2014: A Norfolk, Virginia, family call 911 for help with their schizophrenic relative, 35-year-old David Latham. Latham ends up dead.
June 14, 2014: A Dallas mother calls the cops for help taking her schizophrenic son, 39-year-old Jason Harrison, to the hospital. Harrison winds up dead.
August 11, 2014: Los Angeles cops fatally shoot Ezell Ford, an unarmed 25-year-old suffering from unspecified mental issues. The circumstances surrounding the shooting are still unclear.
August 14, 2014: A 19-year-old Florida California woman with bipolar disorder is fatally shot by police when they mistake a cordless drill she is holding for an Uzi.
August 14, 2014: Phoenix police officers arrive at the apartment of Michelle Cusseaux, 50, to take her to a mental health facility under emergency court order. She has a hammer. She winds up dead.
August 18, 2014: Jeffrey Towe, a Woodland, California, man with “profound mental illness,” is fatally shot after cops are called to his apartment building due to him screaming. Towe allegedly charged the cops with a knife.
August 19, 2014: St. Louis cops fatally shoot 25-year-old Kajieme Powell after he robs a convenience store of energy drinks and a pastry. Witnesses say Powell remained at the scene of the crime pacing and talking to himself until police arrived. The officers allegedly opened fire when Powell began walking toward them with a knife, shouting for the officers to “shoot me now.”
Where was the cries from justice in these cases? Why are we not in the streets protesting for their justice? Maybe protesting isn’t the way. I don’t know. Obama will you visit each one of these hurting mothers and promise them healing, solutions and change? Mental illness is not a crime or is it?
Just doesn’t seem right. Are we missing something here?
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