Marion, IN — A mother and father are horrified and asking for police to be held accountable after a graphic video showed multiple cops savagely attack and beat their schizophrenic son.
On Monday, Arrington Barber, 29, was in the midst of a schizophrenic episode and was walking outside of his apartment wearing only a blanket. Barber, who has a history of mental illness—but no history of violence—was in need of help. However, when police arrived, he got the exact opposite.
According to police, when they saw Barber and attempted to approach him, he dropped the blanket and ran inside his apartment. To a schizophrenic man, multiple armed men with guns chasing after you can be terrifying, which prompted Barber to run.
When police chased him into the apartment, they tried to taser him, but he fled past them. Clearly upset that he made them run, when police caught up with Barber, they unleashed their fury.
The video begins once police knocked Barber to the ground.
"They’re beating him down like he’s a dog,” said James Barber, Arrington’s father. “It’s disgusting, I mean it’s disgusting.”
Arrington's parents explained to FOX59 that their son has been dealing with mental health issues for the past ten years. However, he's never been violent.
“You can’t just beat him and treat him any kind of way 'cause he’s not right in his mind,” said Michele Davis, Arrington’s mother.
The video, which was taken by a person who wants to remain anonymous, shows a naked Arrington appear to be non-violent on the ground when an officer runs up from the side and begins waylaying into his body. Naturally, this caused Arrington to squirm which made police dole out even more of a beating.
The people taking the video react in shock as they watch a half dozen cops surround a non-violent naked man and begin beating him. According to the department's own report, Arrington was not fighting with officers, he was simply holding his hands under his body—similar to what a child might do if they were being grabbed by a bully or abusive adult.
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Police claim this was enough to escalate to such violence, however.
“I don’t know what he might have said that would cause anybody to strike him like that. I’m lost. I really am,” said Davis.
“Those officers are going to have to answer some questions,” said Barber.
Indeed they do. However, they likely won't. According to Chief Angela Haley, Arrington had an outstanding warrant for public nudity for another episode he suffered, during he was seen walking outside of his apartment naked.
This warrant was used to justify the officers' actions and subsequent violence.
"Mr Barber continued to be non-compliant with the officer's commands at which time Mr. Barber was subdued in accordance with Marion Police Department's Use of Force Policies and Indiana Law Enforcement Training," Haley said.
According to the department, four cops holding down a naked mentally ill man while one beats him with a baton and another stomps on his head happens to be in accordance with policy.
As TFTP has reported—at length—police officers have very little training in dealing with mentally ill suspects, and 25 percent of the people killed by police annual have mental health issues. Is that statistic reflective of the failure of the mental health system to effectively treat disturbed individuals or representative of how quickly police officers resort to often deadly force when dealing with the mentally ill?
“I mean he has his issues. I’m never going to say he doesn’t, but at the same token let's work hand and hand and fix this,” said Davis as she and Arrington's dad called for an investigation that will likely never come.
"It’s really ridiculous, it really is,” said Davis. We agree.
If you'd like to peacefully voice your concern about the dire need of training for these officers, you can do so at the Marion Police department's Facebook page, here.