Wallach on Law, Fire & Gasoline --When the Mentally Ill Meet Police. Featuring Ron Honberg of NAMI (the National Alliance For Mental Illness)
Officer-Involved Fatalities & Shootings on the mentally ill are becoming commonplace. In August, Ezell Ford was killed by two Los Angeles County Police Department officers, who stopped him because he was acting strange, and when a struggle ensued, killed him when they believed he was reaching for their weapons. Three months earlier, in Detroit, Dontre Hamilton was lawfully sleeping in a public park and had just been questioned by two officers and deemed a non-threat. A third officer later woke him with a baton, and when a struggle ensued, the officer shot Mr. Hamilton 14 times killing him. Neither victim was engaged in illegal conduct, and both suffered from mental illness. None of these officers received “Crisis Intervention Training”—which teaches law enforcement officers how to identify and respond to those afflicted with mental illness. Ron Honberg of NAMI joins us to talk about what is needed and why.