Since the rest of the nation is well on its way to joining us in police-state psychosis, here’s the Rule of Thumb on Law Enforcement in Florida: DON’T CALL THE COPS. Today’s jackbooted thugs have but two jobs: kill people, and throw them in prison. Combined those directive with an inherent cowardice, and a fetish for guns…and 9-1-1 becomes less a call for help, than a call for an executioner.
KQED is a “virtual channel” of PBS operating out of San Francisco, and a recent article published by the outlet has shed some astonishing light on the kill demographics of SFPD’s victims. Over the last decade, more than HALF of the people killed by the SFPD have been mentally ill. And more heartbreaking yet: in many of those cases, it was the victim’s own family who summoned his executioners.
Those numbers seem a little high to you? They are. Nationally, about 3 out of 7 (42 percent) of all police killings are of the mentally ill.
Ah, that’s much better. Only 42 percent.
But why not 41 percent, if that’s not asking too much?
First, because police are trained cowards with guns, who are trained to shoot anything that might plausibly pose a threat. And they’ll be justified for doing it, even if they themselves escalated the threat to lethal levels.
Case in point one 34-year-old Errol Chang. San Francisco’s Chang was a paranoid schizophrenic in the midst of a breakdown. When his parents called 9-1-1 seeking medical help, police arrived first on scene. By the time they got there, his parents had him somewhat calmed down in the back yard. But the mentally ill man fled into the house when police became aggressive with him.
Very quickly, the house was surrounded by a legion of men with AR-15s, hiding behind an armored personnel carrier. They proceeded to throw flash-bang grenades into the house, because Chang’s parents said he might have access to a .22 rifle inside.
After some time spent driving the paranoid schizophrenic into his worst nightmares, police stormed the house. One officer was stabbed; the other officers opened fire with their assault rifles, shooting Chang eight times in the chest.
The DA gave them commendations.
He had not found the gun. And Chang’s mother lost her son, because she made the mistake of calling for help. By the time medical help arrived, its only remaining job was to confirm her son’s death.
DON’T CALL THE COPS.
And this story has been repeated over, and over, and over again. Less than three months after Chang’s killing, the SFPD gunned down the mentally handicapped, 18-year-old Yanira Serrano-Garcia under very similar circumstances.
It’s a story that plays out in 42 percent of all police shootings. So, what’s being done?
Sensitivity training. No, really.
To its credit, the SFPD has recognized its slight addiction to executing the mentally ill, and has adopted a new model called the Crisis Intervention Team, or CIT.
During police academy training, all officers undergo crisis de-escalation training, and training on how to deal with people with disabilities. Yep…a whole SIX HOURS of training. Six hours of training on dealing with mentally ill people.
After 85 HOURS OF FIREARMS TRAINING.
Starting to see the problem here?
The CIT program — which they describe as “academy disabilities training on steroids” — has had some effect. In the last year, SFPD’s crazy-people executions have at least come down to the national average of 42 percent. So, kudos on that. Which still begs a fascinating, and ever more poignant question:
WHY IS THE NATIONAL AVERAGE 42 G**DAMNED PERCENT??
It could be because police are trained cowards, who are sanctioned by bigger ones. As we said in this article, cowards will always see the fear-driven actions of other cowards as justified. Could be because they spend 14 times longer learning how to shoot us than they do learning how not to. Could also be because they’re now about as far from public servants as Ronald Reagan was an economist. But all those questions, while important, don’t exactly provide the answers to keep those of us on the ground level alive. Fortunately, Florida does.
DON’T CALL THE COPS.
Author’s Note: Wow…just noticed we have a new article category: “Police Brutality.” It’s alphabetically just above “Religion” and “Racism in America.” Something seems sadly appropriate about that.