“Reimagining the police”

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“Alternatives to public safety are gaining momentum, but activists worry many of these ‘alternatives’ still involve police and don’t address root causes.“ This piece by the Boston Globe tells the story of the author’s encounter with the police during and five of them arrested a young black man outside of her home. “I thought something’s […]

Kourtnee Russo

Picture of face of Kourtnee Russo

Kourtnee Russo (22 years) was arrested for “harassment of a public servant in Brazoria County, Texas, while having a psychotic episode. The police officer did not de-escalate the situation, and Kourtnee was arrested for spitting on a police officer.  She was placed on three 3-months probation, but was not given mental health support.  She then […]

Porter Burks

Detroit: Burks, 22, diagnosed with schizophrenia, was experiencing a mental health crisis Oct. 2 when his family called the police, asking for help. Body-camera footage from a crisis intervention team (CIT) officer on hand shows Burks standing in the middle of the street while officers offer him help several times and ask him to put the knife […]

The Continued Efforts of Baytown’s Mental Health Unit

Bayton Health Center

(Baytown, TX) Baytown police mental health officers average at least one call a day in recent weeks, with more than half of those calls result in a person being involuntarily committed for mental health evaluation. Assistant Police Chief Mike Holden told members of the Baytown Police Advisory Committee about the number of mental health responses. […]

Lawsuit Filed Against APD for Brutal Excessive Force During a Mental Health Crisis

Edwards with broken jaw

(Austin, TX) An Austin man filed a lawsuit against the City of Austin and three Austin Police Department (APD) officers. The lawsuit filed by James Edward Johnson said APD officers used excessive force while he was experiencing a mental health crisis. “Rather than calmly talking with the distraught young man who was wearing only boxer […]

This police chief’s reforms could be a model for other communities

But do we need another database of disabled people? CNN: “Police encounters with people dealing with mental health issues can go very wrong, very quickly. Often, the presence of a law enforcement officer can escalate the situation. “A lot of people with special needs may not react very well to a police in uniform, but they […]

Indiana county could be getting its own mental health crisis response unit

Indiana Reporter Times: Tasha Coppinger, organizing director with the bipartisan nonprofit Hoosier Action, says, “If someone is in a crisis and they feel like they’re about to get in trouble, get thrown in jail, or have an altercation or something, it’s not going to help the situation. I think police are often not trained for it. […]

Minneapolis’ mental health responders provide alternative to police

Full text from Axios: Unarmed mental health professionals responded to more than 3,300 911 calls in Minneapolis over the first six months of a pilot program meant to reduce the need for police or ambulances for people experiencing mental health crises. Why it matters: Advocates for the program, which launched in December, say mental health professionals […]