4 minutes after the police came, shots were fired.
A Florida man, Jason Turk, has filed a federal lawsuit against the Tampa Police Department, and an officer who shot him in the face twice, after his wife called the police for help.
The lawsuit claims the department failed to train its officers on how to deal with people in mental distress by providing crisis intervention training, as well as use of excessive force.
Of the NINETEEN officers who responded to his wife’s call for help, not a single one had received crisis intervention training.
“If I was a threat to anyone, I was a threat to myself,”
Jason Turk told the station during the interview.
During his wife’s call to 9-11 she stated, “He knows if cops come and he won’t put the gun down that they’ll shoot him”, causing the call to be labelled “suicide by cop”.
4 minutes after the police came, shots were fired. They claim he raised his gun, a fact that the Turk’s deny.
This is a story we hear too often. Kill you before you kill yourself seems to be a trend in cop logic.
Earlier this month a man threatening suicide with a kitchen knife was met with a swat team.
In July, we reported on seventeen-year-old Christian Alberto Sierra, who was suffering from depression which led to a full scale breakdown and attempted suicide. The police showed up and shot him four times, killing him.
This lack of training doesn’t solely effect the suicidal.
From Kelly Thomas– a schizophrenic homeless man, beaten to death by six crazed and blood thirsty officers while crying out for his father, to Yanira Serrano– an 18 year old special needs girl murdered by police after family called for mental health help, the police are systematically killing those who need patience and compassion most.
They are seemingly entirely unprepared to deal with those who suffer from mental health issues, and that needs to change.
I’m guessing its probably not just California police who are skipping Crisis Intervention Training.