I think I’m developing a reputation as the guy who doesn’t like it when the mentally ill or disabled get beaten. At least it looks that way from the news stories my friends send over. It might have something to do with my thoughts on that poor dude with downs syndrome who the police killed because he wouldn’t leave the movie theater. Or the mentally disabled man that the police in Michigan made sing and dance like a chimp. Or the old man with the cane that the Park Forest cops killed. Or… you get the point.
I’m not going to re-hash everything I’ve already said about what is quickly becoming a cop-versus-the-weak epidemic. I’ll just say, though, that the more we want our cops to act like the military, the less patience and more force they seem to be willing to exhibit towards the mentally ill. The police are trained to take control and exert their authority over any and every situation… not to wait for the man with downs syndrome, or the old man with the cane, or even the dog running loose to calm down. Beat and kill first, it will all be justified in the end, right?
That’s why I say it’s an epidemic- there are too many cop-beats/batters/kills-disabled-man stories for me to deal with. Sometimes I don’t even bother opening them because I find them so disturbing. Tonight, after The Boss turned on Sale of the Century or whatever it is she’s into watching these days, I flipped back through some of the links people had sent. I could use something to rile me up a bit.
I got as far as this video depicting the police “interaction” with Mario Crump. Mr. Crump is a man who suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder– two things that, no doubt, can make him a very difficult man to deal with. Mr. Crump’s family was, apparently, struggling to deal with his bad mood and called the police for help. When they arrived, it looked like this: