There are numerous cases of police brutality reported this year which led to nationwide protests. People demanded to defund the police and take away the authority from them. Many police officers do not have to suffer the consequences until or unless the public speaks out against them. This led to a poor impression of the police department among the public.
Another major issue is the behavior of police with mental health patients. Some of the recent incidents sparked outrage among the general public regarding police behavior. People have been protesting for a long time against police brutality for people with mental health illnesses. Their response to mental health emergencies became more questionable after a recent case.
Police officers recently shot a 13-year-old kid while he was going through a mental health emergency. The boy had autism spectrum disorder and his mother reported the police for help. He got seriously injured during the shooting, however, he is in recovery now.
The police departments use a program established for mental health crises and such issues. Crisis Intervention Teams are widely rejected by people but the police are reluctant to give it up. Their programs do not seem to help people with mental disabilities.
Daniel Prude’s death at the hands of some police officers led to chaos in New York City. Also, the incident showed how ineffective are the CITs. Daniel Prude was a middle-aged black man who was going through a mental health crisis one night. His brother called the police as the man was talking to himself and naked on the street.
Police brutality showed p at the scene when the officer pushed his head against the pavement until he couldn’t breathe anymore. His brother said that he needed help for his brother while the police did the opposite. Daniel was under the influence of drugs and going through a mental health crisis that particular night.
Daniel had a history of mental health issues and he was also suicidal. People are urging the police officers to stop their violence against people who need help during a mental breakdown. Police do not have adequate training to handle a situation like that. They treat these mental health patients as criminals and take action accordingly.
Most police departments do not follow the programs to help these patients in such crucial times. The CITs are to help such people if implemented properly. However, most departments do not take training to handle such matters which leads to worse situations.
Here are not many mental health facilities available which lead people to contact the police in a situation like this. What we need is more resources for mental health or substance abuse cases. An efficient response system for such cases will reduce the occurrence of such incidents. Also, the police will have less involvement in cases of a mental health emergency.
The crisis response teams should include a properly qualified mental health professional and other clinicians who can actually help people. Also, the teams should include people with a history of drug abuse and mental health issues so they can connect with new patients. This will develop more trust and less police brutality incidents against such people.