The Economist reported last week, in an article on armed U.S. police, that “last year, in total, British police officers actually fired their weapons three times.” The number three resonated when the private autopsy of Michael Brown, the teenager killed by Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson this month, concluded that Brown was shot at least six times. Many tweets contrasted thenumbers, saying Wilson had fired more shots at Brown than British police officers discharged in all of 2013.
There isn’t comprehensive data on the number of people police in the U.S. kill each year — although it’s almost certainly more than the oft-cited FBI figure of about 400 people. And most police homicides in the U.S. are committed with guns. Police officers in England and Wales didn’t kill anyone with a gun in the two-year period that ended March 31, 2014, after killing an average of three people each year in the prior eight years.
Tweets from article
The cost of the 2nd amendment. Darren Wilson shot more bullets than the entire British police force did last year. http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2014/08/armed-police …
Massachusetts, US, United States
Report recommends more police training for dealing with mentally ill
A new report released by The Mental Health Commission of Canada indicates there are more interactions between these two groups now than there were five to seven years ago
A lack of treatment and support for those with mental illness, plus the stigma, mean police are often in a situation where they have to deal with the crisis.
“There has been significant interest amongst the police community to provide sufficient training for police personnel both to improve their understanding of mental illness and to equip them to respond appropriately to persons with mental illness,” said study co-author Terry Coleman in a statement.
“As important as police training in matters of mental health is, police are not doctors, and should never be expected to act as such,” he told reporters at the conference Wednesday.
“Healthcare is the explicit responsibility of the provinces, and we look to our provincial partners to provide the necessary intervention and assistance for the mentally ill – before they encounter the criminal justice system. I cannot emphasize this point more strongly.”
Canada is Proactive in this response. This is Preventive Medicine. Mentally ill patients are increasingly likely to come in contact with police officers, has the medical community braced itself for the backlash.
Shooting acutely suicidal patients or imprisoning mentally ill patients who are often homeless, addicted to drugs and alcohol is not treatment. Especially when family calls 911 for help and first responders are the local cops. Police Officers should calmly talk with patients and transport them to the local ED, in consultation with the ED physician or charge nurse. First Responders are managed by an MD or an entity with MDs or DOs such as hospitals.
Police Officers are not doctors. Police officers are not allowed to make medical decisions. Why then do Police officer make medical decisions in the videos by deviating from First Responder protocols? They should notify the ED of a patient with altered mental status and ask for assistance as well as call for backup. Why is that done after lethal means?
Excellent article written from the perspective of a white female who survived striking a police officer:
In none of the videos, did officers attempt to treat patients humanely. Acutely ill and agitated patients were treated in the most obscene manner. Instead of displaying courtesy or respecting their dignity, the officers pointed their guns, threatened, yelling different orders littered with profanities and disparaging comments that would frighten and confuse Even the most sane person, let alone someone with mental illness or Aspergers where sensory inputs are altered.
In none of the videos or stories involving Black and Brown people, did cops act appropriately in reducing sensory overload necessary to de-escalate a high-risk stressful situation. Why? Police Officers are trained in CPR and carry defibrillators….In some towns, police officers are the only first responders….why did cops deviate from standard First Responder Protocols in the videos and narratives? Cops in these videos make no attempt to descalate by talking courteously or recruiting family or friends but instead do everything to provoke an already high-risk suicide situation. The current behaviors and lack of proactive responses by medical communities is not only a serious breach in the delivery of medical care that is ultimately very costly to society but a violation to do no harm.
We wonder: suicide rates have not come down from 12-13 per 100,000 , why despite a variety of treatment options? (rates may begoing up with someone committing suicide every 13 minutes in 2010 compared to every 17 minutes a couple of years earlier) Perhaps it may have to do with the ripple effect of inappropriate treatment and second-hand exposure to police violence by communities….consider that for further research and my database will assist in capturing context within communities. (http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/statistics/aag.html)
What is the AMA doing about this problem? Are doctors protecting their patients? Or Is medicine also biased against pigment? Discrimination in medicine exists as well as cruelty. I experienced discrimination, misdiagnosis, redacted and multiple medical records and cruelty at the hands of doctors at Tufts Medical Center, Justina Pelletier at Boston Childrens Hospital and thousands unknown. The ACA and patient protection laws offer no protection against discriminatory medicine by ED staff, except stakes to do no harm are higher for those involved in the delivery of medical care, particularly, doctors.
In other words, the Medical Director of EMS (Emergency Medical System) or the physician director of first responders provides a channel to seek compensation and recourse for victims. Name of the person or the group ort he hospital name is relevant for the database as well as 911 tapes.
Normal law-abiding humans do not behave in this manner; criminals and psychopaths do. Anglo values and law look at police behavior and use of excessive force as necessary to protect the officers. In the above video, was it necessary?
An unarmed, single victim against multiple trained, heavily armed officers, swinging batons, kicking your face, stomach, and groin without mercy, seemingly relentlessly: How would an autistic or schizophrenic person respond?
In the video, cops appear to be villains, bullies, and the mob – just organized minions of criminal units.
This is an epidemic. Police violence should be declared a public health and medical Emergency. Mental illness affects about one in every four Americans. The medical community cannot afford to ignore this situation. We must pay now or pay immensely later.
If we ignore, what will the future look like as more police officers are rewarded for violence and move up the ranks, as they have already? Will a lack of diversity be the future?
Many homeless people have mental disorders that landed them on the streets. Mental disorders are controllable and treatable but not in prison. No studies have documented the treatment benefits of prison for mental disorders as well as developmental disorders and homelessness. We know that untreated mental illness often gets worse with addiction. Are medical societies and patient advocates comfortable with law enforcement-driven treatment protocols for mental illness and addiction?
The most disturbing thing about the video above and other videos like it is the lack of first responders. Ambulance delays, lack of CPR and advanced life support increase fatalities. Why were there no ambulances and at least 5 cruisers? Are cops trained in CPR? I believe they are, and the majority carry defibrillators. However, no attempts were made to resuscitate or administer first aid.
Videos of police violence with often fatal injuries to “suspects,” and absence of ambulances , and use of defibrillators, ensure that patients will not be brought back to life. A dead patient cannot contradict blood the stained lies of law enforcement.
Why were so many cruisers on the scene, but no ambulance? Was there a delay? If so, why? Perhaps delays in medical treatment result in the death of victims of police violence. Or did medicine outsource health care to law enforcement?
“A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the family, including the 7 month old son, of 24 year old Gregory Towns, who died after being tased 13 times in 29 minutes. Two officers repeatedly shocked this man’s body for a total of 47 seconds… while unarmed and handcuffed.”
“Police found Towns sitting down and out of breath after a short foot chase. He asked officers at least ten times to be allowed to rest before going with them, according to AJC. The cops then decided to use their weapons as a cattle prod to force the weak man to walk, instead of just letting him catch his breath.”
“While we often ask “why didn’t that cop use a taser instead of his gun?”, it is important to remember that while a person is less likely to die from a taser shock than a gun shot, they are still a weapon, and still often unnecessary and lethal.”
Using tasers to hasten the arrest process for injured citizens who have difficulty breathing has no place in American medicine. I doubt the manufacturer of tasers would make such recommendations to any law enforcement official. There are no medical indications for tasers.
Someone who is having difficulty breathing needs an ambulance. Any fool knows that.
This is wrongful death due to the off-label use of tasers. The police did not act in accordance with standard practice or protocols for tasers.
“ Personnel should consider that exposure to the ECW [Taser] for longer than 15 seconds (whether due to multiple applications or continuous cycling) may increase the risk of death or serious injury.” (3)
Police are not allowed to make medical decisions, yet they are (with uniformly poor outcomes) increasing fatalities and disability cases.
Systemic violence within law enforcement serves to compound the burgeoning unlawful, unethical, and inhumane actions that lead to physical and mental disorders. When a disorder is exploited by law enforcement for profit or abuse, it can only be described as an act of terrorism.
A public health emergency exists for people with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and Asperger syndrome. People with mental and developmental disorders may not understand commands screamed at them by an irate officer pointing a gun, and the wrong reaction could be fatal.
The medical community cannot stand by and watch patients slaughtered, knowing that they are at very high risk for police violence and its associated morbidity and mortality.