I will begin this post with a clear statement. I am not unemotional or arbitrary in my feelings on this subject. I am sickened by the killing of a mentally ill, young woman yesterday in the US because she was “using her car as a weapon.” “Appropriate” force is what? What is “appropriate” fear? How can we use the word “appropriate” for killing a young woman with a baby in the back seat who was acting erratically, driving dangerously and terrified.
I am mentally ill and have felt threatened by police. In watching the videos I’ve so far seen, I would likely have done exactly the same thing ~ tried to escape. Guns drawn? Absolutely would have tried to escape! Wouldn’t you?
I AM a voice of experience, a voice for the severely mentally ill! I have Major Depressive Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder. I also have many other mental illnesses as well as physical illnesses. My guess is nobody knows I am mentally ill that reads this blog. Many don’t “seem” mentally ill nor will they admit it because of shame and the stigma over this misunderstood human condition.
I have had police break down my door at dawn when I was not yet dressed, handcuff me, throw me around while watching my robe slip from my body, threaten and verbally abuse me, drag me screaming, shove me into the back of a patrol car(with urine all over the floor) where I landed face down on the seat while the drunk “prisoner” in front leered at me (his urine…), drive by the police station with full intent of causing fear and finally leave me at the ER. Why? I had called to ask about the dosage of an antidepressant I was taking!
Apparently one shouldn’t make a call to the ER asking about a psych med because of liability issues. They will call the police who take it into their unskilled hands. Apparently if a partially-dressed woman refuses entry to two male cops who roar up her isolated 1/4 mile lane at dawn and EXPECT entry, they have the right to kick the door down if she refuses them without seeing a search warrant. Apparently they could have used those guns because I was taking a psyche med, right? I could have been hiding a weapon, an attack dog, a man in the next room with a gun.
I could have been a witch and cast a demon upon them! That’s not far from the truth!
I watched with horror yesterday as half a dozen armed police took aim at a person in a car who was driving erratically and dangerously. Couldn’t they take aim at the tires not her head? And what if they had harmed or killed the young child in the car with her mother? Is that deemed collateral damage? Do we now kill people because of delusional thinking? Do we kill people because they need help? Do we kill people because of the city an incident happens in? Do we kill people because we’re armed, hyped up, afraid and it’s easy? Are we now protected if we kill unarmed people, especially young obviously hysterical black women? I’ve seen the video and from my own experience, if I were surrounded by that group of cops all with guns drawn and aimed at me or my child, I’d have done exactly the same thing. Run. But would you have then shot at my head with the intent to kill?