Dallas, TX -- A newly released body cam video shows just how ridiculous the claims were of Dallas police officers "fearing for their lives" when killing 38-year-old Jason Harrison.
The incident happened on June 14 after police were called out to the residence by Harrison's mother who said, “He’s just off the chain, Bipolar schizo.”
Harrison's mother called 9-1-1 trying to get help bringing her mentally ill son, who is bipolar and schizophrenic, to the hospital. Instead, police showed up and killed him.
The police initially claimed that they feared for their lives and were forced to shoot Harrison after he lunged at them with a screwdriver. However, the video tells a different tale.
In the video, Harrison's mother is seen walking out of the house, explaining to police that her son is being irrational. She was followed by Harrison, who was holding a small screwdriver.
As soon as Harrison walks out of the house, he is shot dead.
As officers began screaming at the mentally ill man, it escalated. What could have been a completely peaceful surrender, turned into a violent killing.
We can also see from the video, that these officers were equipped with less-lethal tasers, yet still reached for their pistols to fend off a man with a screwdriver.
The Dallas Morning News Reports:
“This is a perfect video for the Dallas Police Department to use in training as an example of what not to do,” said older brother Sean Harrison. “You don’t yell at them — that only agitates them.”
But the officers who shot Harrison feared for their lives, said their attorney, Chris Livingston. He said killing someone with a screwdriver would be “pretty easy. It’ll only take one blow.”
“You can’t de-escalate someone coming at you with a weapon,” Livingston added.
However, when looking at the video, does it really look like Harrison is "coming at them with a weapon"?
WARNING: This video contains disturbing imagery.
The family has since filed a lawsuit against the department claiming that Harrison did not pose a threat. They stated that the screwdriver he was holding was a small one used for computers. Also, Harrison had never been violent before.
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According to the Dallas Morning News:
Dallas police said Monday the department has completed its internal investigation into whether the officers broke any laws. The department did not make a ruling on that issue and instead forwarded the file to the Dallas County district attorney’s office, said police spokesman Lt. Jose Garcia.
Internal investigators are still reviewing the case to see if the officers violated any policies, Garcia said.
The two officers, John Rogers and Andrew Hutchins, are back on full duty and the case is awaiting review by a grand jury. Both officers had been on the force for more than five years at the time of the shooting.
This killing is truly heartbreaking and highlights the level of incompetence and willingness of American cops to kill without any restraint.
People with schizophrenia do not solely exist within the United States, yet American police officers are the only ones who frequently kill them. Why is it that?
Let’s look at our immediate neighbors to the north, Canada. The total number of citizens killed by law enforcement officers in the year 2014, was 14; that is 78 times fewer people than the US.
If we look at the United Kingdom, one person was killed by police in 2014 and 0 in 2013. English police reportedly fired guns a total of three times in all of 2013, with zero reported fatalities.
From 2010 through 2014, there were four fatal police shootings in England, which has a population of about 52 million. By contrast, Albuquerque, N.M., with a population 1 percent the size of England’s, had 26 fatal police shootings in that same time period.
China, whose population is 4 and 1/2 times the size of the United States, recorded 12 killings by law enforcement officers in 2014.
Let that sink in. Law enforcement in the US killed 92 times more people than a country with nearly 1.4 billion people.
It doesn’t stop there.
From 2013-2014, German police killed absolutely no one.
In the entire history of Iceland police, they have only killed one person ever. After exhausting all non-lethal methods to detain an armed man barricaded in his house who actually shot two police officers, police were forced to take the 59-year-old man’s life. The country of Iceland grieved for weeks after having to resort to violence.
Are these killings by American police happening because mentally ill men with schizophrenia don't come out wielding screwdrivers in other countries? Sadly, no.
America's war on drugs, coupled with the unaccountable and militaristic tendency towards a police state have created violent behemoth of "justified" murderers. How many more videos of mentally ill men being gunned down by cops must the citizens of America watch before they act?
The time for change is now.
It's time police have competition from private security services. It's time police carry their own personal liability insurance and are held to the fire for their crimes, instead of extorting the tax farm. It's time police go back to being emergency respondents, instead of the enforcers of the government's revenue collection schemes. It's time to end the war on drugs. It's time to end war altogether. It's time we wake up our fellow humans to the reality of Police State USA...before there is no more time at all.