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Mental Illness

New San Francisco D.A. Inherits Chance To Hold Police Accountable In Shooting Of Man With Mental Illness

On Jan. 6, 2017, at about 4:15 a.m., San Francisco Police Department officers Colin Patino and Kenneth Cha arrived at Sean Moore’s home. Moore’s neighbor, who had a temporary restraining order against him, had called police when he heard a knock on their shared wall. Body camera footage shows that Moore answered his door and, in response to their questions, denied violating the restraining order.

Police Already Made 2016 Deadlier Than 2015 By The End Of June

By Staff of Mint Press News - MINNEAPOLIS — As controversy continues to swirl around the issue of police violence in the United States, the media continues to be our main source of data about the scope of the problem. The Washington Post, which tracks fatal shootings by police as part of its Fatal Force project, reports that there have already been 20 more fatal shootings this year compared to the same period of 2015. In April, the Post’s Fatal Force project won a Pulitzer Prize, journalism’s most prestigious award, in the national reporting category.

Albany Rally for Justice for Dontay Ivy Tazed To Death By Police

By Chris Churchil for the Albany Times-Union - As part of a remedial program ordered by the court, here’s what New York City officers are being told by their superiors: “In order to conduct a stop, an officer must have individualized, reasonable suspicion that the person stopped has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a felony or penal law misdemeanor.” Also, “the officer must be able to articulate facts establishing a minimal level of objective justification for making the stop, which means more than a mere suspicion or a hunch. ‘Furtive movements’ or mere presence in a high-crime area are insufficient bases for a stop or frisk.” Well, the officers involved in Ivy’s stop have said his unusual movements and decision to wear a jacket — on a 26 degree night, no less — are the reasons they decided to stop and question him. In short, they had a hunch that he might be carrying a gun. Which means that the officers did, in fact, do something wrong — and do something wrong every day in Albany.

Substance Abuse Is A Public Health Issue, Not A Crime

It’s simple. Diversion programs work better than incarceration – for everyone. In cities like Seattle, San Antonio, and Salt Lake City, we see that successful solutions are a viable option to help end serious social problems. These services alter the course of people’s lives in a positive way and save taxpayers huge amounts of money. We cannot continue to isolate and imprison people who suffer from mental illness, substance abuse, or homelessness. We must treat them with compassion and care to better serve our communities and our pocketbooks. It's time we got serious about pulling our money out of incarceration and putting it into systems that foster healthy communities. Hundreds of thousands of people are locked up not because of any dangerous behavior, but because of problems like mental illness, substance use disorders, and homelessness, which should be dealt with outside the criminal justice system. Services like drug treatment and affordable housing cost less and can have a better record of success.

LAPD Shouted ‘Shoot Him’ Before Killing Unarmed Man

An eyewitness to the killing of Ezell Ford told The Huffington Post on Wednesday that he heard an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department shout "shoot him" before three bullets were unloaded into the unarmed, 25-year-old black man, who was on the ground. "It is unknown if the suspect has any gang affiliations," the LAPD said in a statement after the killing. But people in Ford's neighborhood said the young man was not remotely involved in gang activity. Leroy Hill said he was an eyewitness to the shooting Monday night, and confirmed that he heard three shots. "He wasn't a gang banger at all," Hill said. "I was sitting across the street when it happened. So as he was walking down the street, the police approached him, whatever was said I couldn't hear it, but the cops jumped out of the car and rushed him over here into this corner. They had him in the corner and were beating him, busted him up, for what reason I don't know he didn't do nothing. The next thing I know I hear a 'pow!' while he's on the ground. They got the knee on him. And then I hear another 'pow!' No hesitation. And then I hear another 'pow!' Three times." At one point while the police had Ford on the ground, but before the shooting took place, Hill said, he heard an officer yell, "Shoot him."

Bronx Protesters Demand Justice For Death Of Mentally Ill Inmate

When 39-year-old Bradley Ballard was found naked on the floor of a mental health observation unit on Rikers Island last fall, his body was covered in feces and a rubber band was tied around his genitals. He had been held in isolation for seven days after making a lewd gesture at a female guard. On June 3, the Medical Examiner declared Ballard’s death a homicide, finding that he had been denied access to medication despite being diagnosed with both diabetes and schizophrenia. The AP previously reported that while guards looked into Ballard’s cell repeatedly in the days leading up to his death, they declined to enter, and when his door was finally opened on September 10, Ballard was too weak to move. He only received one visit from mental health staff, which lasted about 15 seconds. Ballard’s primary cause of death was listed as diabetic ketoacidosis, brought on by a lack of insulin. Thus far, however, no Correction officers have been fired or indicted in relation to Ballard’s death. Yesterday afternoon, about twenty-five people protested outside the Bronx District Attorney’s Office to demand criminal prosecution in Ballard’s death.

Psychiatry’s Manufacture Of Consent: The Antidepressant Explosion

Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s book title Manufacturing Consent derives from presidential advisor and journalist Walter Lippmann’s phrase “the manufacture of consent”—a necessity for Lippmann, who believed that the general public is incompetent in discerning what’s truly best for them, and so their opinion must be molded by a benevolent elite who does know what’s best for them. Starting in the 1990s—despite research findings that levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin were unrelated to depression—Americans began to be exposed to highly effective television commercials for antidepressants that portrayed depression as caused by a “chemical imbalance” of low levels of serotonin and which could be treated with “chemically balancing” antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Why has the American public not heard psychiatrists in positions of influence on the mass media debunking the chemical imbalance theory?
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