In a nearly 4,000-word article on its front page, the Washington Post (7/1, A1, Leaming, Verma) reports that a Washington Post analysis found that this year police have shot and killed 124 people “in the throes of mental or emotional crisis,” about a fourth of those killed by police in the first half of the year.
While most of those individuals were armed, the officers usually “were called by relatives, neighbors or other bystanders” concerned about erratic behavior, not about crime. Over half of the killings involved police agencies that do not train officers in how to deal with people with mental illness, and in some cases, police tactics “quickly made a volatile situation even more dangerous.”
Current and former police chiefs say that police are being called on to cover for “severe budget cuts for psychiatric services” and that the killings won’t get better “without large-scale police retraining.”
— “DISTRAUGHT PEOPLE,
DEADLY RESULTS,” Wesley Lowery, Kimberly Kindy, Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post, June 30, 2015.