Use of Force is Wrong Response to Mental Health

Woman at memorial with sign that says Black Lives Matter

“State and local governments should end the use of police to respond to incidents involving people experiencing mental health crises and instead implement non-coercive, supportive interventions. This can include response teams designed to connect, build rapport, and de-escalate stressful situations. Investment in communities, including accessible, affordable mental health services and support to address social issues […]

Work Needed To Prevent Sexual Abuse Of People With Disabilities

Sexual violence is a pervasive public health issue that disproportionately affects individuals with intellectual disabilities. The Bureau of Justice indicate that the rate of rape and sexual assault against individuals with intellectual disabilities is more than seven times the rate of individuals without disabilities. The Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council has been working on practices […]

LAPD Being Sued for Killing Man Struggling with Mental Health

Victor Valencia was a 31 year-old Latino man mistaken for an armed Black man. Police were called and fatally shot Victor who was actually carrying a bicycle part. The son and parents of Victor Valencia, allege in their lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, that Victor presented no threat and that his rights were violated […]

Maryland police reform measure would repeal police legal protections

Maryland Capitol Building

In 1974 Maryland enacted the state‚Äôs Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights. This protects police officers from investigation and prosecution from their work conduct. This is a common police protection in many states. One of the police reforms bills proposed in Maryland would repeal this law. Police reform advocates are advocating for a new model […]

First Six Months of Mental Health Responses Led to Zero Arrests

Denver recently released the STAR (Support Team Assisted Response) program 6 months ago. The program was designed to address non-violent incidents with mental health professionals instead of armed police. After 6 months, Denver’s STAR program has not arrested a single individual. In addition, they have resolved 748 nonviolent conflicts, averaging 6 incidents a day. Unfortunately, […]

Technology Innovation Leading to New Public Health Perspectives

The NSW(New South Wales) Police Force attended 123,330 domestic violence events. With police reports being lengthy, it would be impossible to analyze every report individually. With the emergence of big data, we can extract certain information. “A total of 16% of domestic violence events examined had at least one mention of a mental illness for […]

Police officer fatally shooting disabled man after being told to leave

Patrick Lynn Warren Senor was experiencing a mental health crisis so his family called 911. The Warren family requested a mental health professional, however, a police officer arrived instead. When the officer, Reynaldo Contreras, arrived, the family told Contreras to leave after he exhibited a hostile demeanor. Contreras returned and Warren Sr. answered the door, […]

Israel Failing to Adopt Procedures Affecting People with Disabilities

Shirel Habura

On April 30, Shirel Habura was a mentally ill man carrying a knife in Israel. Habura’s mother called the police reporting that her son was potentially dangerous. When an officer approached Shirel, he charged towards the officer with a knife. After being stabbed in the leg, the officer fatally shot Shirel Habura. A case investigating […]

Police Reform Legislation Signed Into Law In Massachusetts

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced that he had signed police reform legislation into law. The measure bans chokeholds, using tear gas on large demonstrations and most no-knock warrants where a child or person over age 65 is home. It also creates a civilian-led oversight board that will certify officers and can handle misconduct complaints. The […]