End Police Brutality Towards Mentally Ill People

portland police

Target: Chief Michael Reese of the Portland Police Bureau

Goal: Stop police violence against people with mental illnesses and obtain justice for mentally ill man recently killed by police

In a recent instance of police violence against innocent people, a 23-year-old man was shot and killed by policemen. He had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but did not have a history of violent tendencies. When the police began approaching him at night, he used a crowbar against the officers. Instead of using non-lethal tactics to subdue the man, the police immediately shot him. This particular police department has a history of overzealous use of deadly violence against mentally ill individuals, which must be stopped to protect all citizens.

The Portland Police Bureau of Portland, Oregon has had issues with police violence against mentally unstable people. In 2012, the Justice Department launched an investigation into accusations of police brutality against people with mental illnesses. Having found routine patterns of deadly shootings of mentally ill people, the Justice Department tried to reach a settlement with the police department. However, the police union refused to accept the conditions, and subsequently neglected them. Even after this most recent deadly shooting of a man with no criminal past, no agreement has been made to end the systematic bloodshed of mentally ill people. Until the reforms are enacted, more innocent people, like Nick Davis, will be shot and possibly killed by police without restraint.

Ask the Portland Police Bureau to end the violent actions against people with mental illnesses by implementing the changes provided by the Justice Department. Demand justice for Nick Davis’s death, and help ensure that his family receives adequate recompense.


Dear Chief Reese,

I recently read about Nick Davis, the 23-year-old who was shot and killed by Portland police officers. Not only had this man not committed a crime, but he had also not injured any of the officers. While this is an isolated incident, numerous cases have been brought to light that indicate systematic violence against individuals with mental illnesses. Even the Justice Department was brought in to investigate and create a deal with the Portland Police Bureau, which had to refuse the deal because of police unions.

I ask that you implement the changes proposed by the Justice Department to end the deadly violence against people with mental instabilities. Too many innocent people in and around Portland have died because of the unnecessary use of gun violence by police officers. I urge you to take immediate action in correcting your officers’ conduct in relation to people with mental illnesses, and address Nick Davis’s family and provide the adequate recompense for his causeless death.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit:  M. O. Stevens via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Donna Adams says:

    I am Nicholas Davis biological mom.your article is good, but the article makes it sound like Nick was all alone with no friends or family who didnt love him. Nothing could be farther from the truth. nick was deeply loved. As his mom, I went thru a lot with Nick. He didnt have much of a male influence in his life, but he always had me. I visited when he was in places like parry center Christie school, and the state hospital. Which he ended up in because he ran away. These places would keep his medications regulated. When he lived with me. I also kept him in therapy. And on his meds. Until he turned 18 years he said mom I don’t like how they make me feel. I pleaded with him to stay in them. When he was getting his small SSD he was able to rent an apartment for over a year by himself, and was liked by the manager. Then for some reason he was cut off. Maybe because he forgot his appointment. Nick was funny bright artistic he could pencil sketch anything. Teachers at the Serendipity school, loved him and he did graduate. Most the articles are making it sound like nick was totally homeless which is not the case. I live at the Oregon coast and he was always welcome. The differences he had with my caregiver I’m in a wheelchair. Have all been settled. He was only in Portland because his buddy’s and his things were there. Big fat screen TV game consoles and games. His friend Brandon and I feel he felt he was going to be robbed , and he got frightened. Someone had to really push him before the cops arrived. Nick was NOT on drugs. When he stayed with us prior to all this . He was calm laid back and in a good mood. I feel he was finially at a place in his life where he was happy and had learned to live with his mental struggles as well as he could. I knew Nick better than anybody in this world. He was a good guy a GOD loving man and went to church anytime he could. Sgt Robert Brown 15 year veteran should have done anything but use deadly force Nick would have given up and the hospital would have had him back on meds. And we would be out of crime ridden Portland . As I plan his service I cry and cry and cry but I wonder what would this young 23 year old would have made out of his life. We will never know I miss his sheepish smile, I miss his funny laugh I miss hugging him. I miss him calling me and saying love you too mom. No the news did not know the Nick we knew . So much that was said just wasn’t true. Justice For NICK rest in peace my dear son.

    • I am a Veteran fighting for my mentally ill son here in Gwinnett Co., GA. Your story saddens me as a person and as a Veteran of 12 years. We are forgotten. I have shared your story on my public Facebook page Injustices to the mentally ill.My son called and said Happy Birthday. I was confused. He said today is MLK’S Birthday. He talked about how he fought for rights. He said mom I am not going to lie and say I did something, so that I can get out. He believes he is in jail to testify against the officer who assaulted him. He is standing for his rights.
      I got off the phone and broke down crying because those are the values I installed in all my children. He didn’t specify MLK fought for Civil Rights because he doesn’t identify anyone by their color, another value instilled in him, by me. Somewhere in him there was still apart of me.


      Thank you for the support you have given to our family during this time. We ask that you please share this! #morialgernon
      Search Erick Hennessee for publicly shared info for 11 months.

      I never thought I would have to discuss with my son the safety of his life and ours for going public. So when I say if he dies in jail someone will be held accountable. My heart goes out you.

  2. Daniela Bress says:

    They’ve started with your dogs – authorities still don’t stop, even support them; so it’s no surprise that they’re convinced they’re above the law and go on with women, mentally ill, minorities and teenagers now – the question is, will anybody stop these uniformed sociopaths from terrorizing the people who pay their salaries?

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