Supreme Court Case could change how frequently Police Shoot people who have Schizophrenia

Wouldn’t it be great if police had to learn more about mental illnesses like schizophrenia - jails are, afterall, the largest psychiatric hospitals in the USA and Police shoot people with schizophrenia at a horrible rate.

" The Supreme Court is considering whether the Americans With Disabilities Act requires police to take special precautions when trying to arrest armed and violent suspects who are mentally ill.
The justices hear arguments Monday in a dispute over how police in San Francisco dealt with a woman suffering from schizophrenia who had threatened to kill her social worker in 2008. Police forced their way into Teresa Sheehan’s room at a group home and then shot her five times after she came at them with a knife.
Sheehan survived and later sued the city, claiming police had a duty under the ADA to consider her mental illness and take more steps to avoid a violent confrontation."

More Reading on this topic:

Supreme Court weighs S.F. police shooting of mentally ill woman

This Supreme Court case could drastically change how police use deadly force

A good indepth analysis of the case is here:


My take on this is often does this occur. These cases are rare. Everyone has the right to be protected by laws for the people and by the people. Too many mentally ill person are being untreated and unrecognized. A human life should be saved. It’s important to have advocates that will defend and protect the mentally ill. After all, prejudice, stigma, discrimination occurs with the weak. It’s easy to set up a mentally ill person. We can blame, shoot, lock up and dehumanize a mentally ill person and get away with. It all comes down to protecting and defending a human life.


One thing I have noticed about the police use of deadly force is that they never shoot to wound. When I was in the army one of the rules for the use of deadly force was that if it was possible we were supposed to shoot to wound, not to kill. In the Fergason shooting the policeman shot that black man six times. He should have tried to stop him by shooting him once or twice in the thigh.

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that is a good thing to be teaching officers in any country

This is a very interesting case. I hope it does change the way officers handle mentally ill people. We need all the protection we can get.

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As a Brit I have to ask why on earth the US police are so cowardly? So far I have never heard of a single case of anyone with a severe mental illness being shot by police in the UK. So, our population is one fifth of yours, but we don’t have one fifth of the shootings. We have precisely zero. Ergo, Amefican police are incompetent or cowardly or psychopaths. Maybe they are the ones who should be locked up or sectioned!

I mean, you guys invented the taser. Why the hell did they go to a mental hospital with GUNS. Even if they had been told a woman was dangerous, haven’t they heard of stab vests? Can’t one of them carry a taser?

To be honest, though, I have never even heard of a person with SMI being tasered in the UK. And that would be bad enough, let alone shot five times.

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