Mentally Ill Police Encounters and Potentially Deadly Consequences

January 5, 2015 6:38 PM

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We just witnessed in NYC the deadly consequences of an allegedly mentally-ill young man who killed two police officers under the probable delusion that he was taking revenge for the Michael Brown (Ferguson Mo.) and Eric Garner (Staten Island, N.Y.) cases. The NYC killer who was in and out of the criminal justice system in several states was never diagnosed with mental illness and not treated but known as mentally ill by his family.

Increasing confrontations between the mentally ill and police reflect a continuing failure of state and local mental health providers. Lack of funding for mental health services frequently causes the police to be mental health crisis workers. Yet, very few police agencies have trained staff to fulfi...

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