Risk of being killed by police is 16 times greater for those with mental illness

The risk of being killed during a police incident is 16 times greater for individuals with untreated mental illness than other civilians, according to a new report by the Treatment Advocacy Center (Tac). The report suggests that a variety of institutional and policy failures have often left law enforcement as the only available resource to deal with people in mental health crisis, sometimes with fatal results.

“If you have these situations in communities where, when someone is really sick, the only call the family can make is to law enforcement; of course you’re going to see these sort of tragedies happen,” said John Snook, executive director of the Virginia-based nonprofit, which works to eliminate barriers to the treatment of severe mental illness.



Someone is much more likely to be killed by a policeman when you don’t follow his instructions. In most cases, if someone just does what they’re told, they’ll avoid any trouble. Now I’m not saying that every psychotic is going to be able to follow instructions, but I doubt every one who has been killed was unable.

It seems these days that people don’t believe they need to obey or respect policemen.