Law Enforcement: Stop Responding to Mental Health Issues with Violence

Target: J. Thomas Manger, Chief of Police at Montgomery County Police Department, Maryland

Goal: Demand better training and improved protocol for police officers conducting wellness checks.

Maryland law enforcement officers reportedly broke into Chelsea Manning’s home after receiving tips about alleged suicidal ideation. The former Army intelligence analyst (who was jailed for treason after leaking footage of U.S. soldiers shooting a Reuters reporter in Iraq) reportedly posted disconcerting Tweets that prompted “concerned parties” to contact Montgomery County police. During her incarceration, the whistleblower turned U.S. Senate candidate attempted to take her life twice. She was once even put into solitary confinement for trying to do so, which certainly contributes to her ongoing trauma.

Surveillance camera footage reportedly showed four officers entering Manning’s home while she was out of the county. Three reportedly had their guns drawn and the other held a Taser, as if they were performing a high-tension raid. Manning proceeded to send the video to The Intercept to showcase the realities of the American police state. More often than not, police-led “wellness” checks result in more harm than good, especially among people of color. Sign the petition to urge the police department involved to rethink its methods. Mental health crises don’t necessitate aggressive actions.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chief Manger,

Upon learning about Chelsea Manning’s alleged suicidal ideation via Twitter, some of your officers reportedly inappropriately responded to the event with what appeared to be uninhibited hostility. Released video footage reportedly shows four officers entering her home with guns and Tasers locked and loaded, ready for confrontation. When they discovered Manning wasn’t home, they even reportedly tried to locate the aspiring senator by tracking her phone. It’s a blessing Manning was out of the country, otherwise she could have been severely harmed or killed. Let’s ask ourselves how such visible brute force makes a person experiencing a personal crisis feel safer.

According to studies by The Washington Post, mental illness contributed to a quarter of the 987 fatal police interactions in 2017. So far in 2018 alone, officers have lethally shot at least 64 people contemplating suicide or experiencing mental distress. This is appalling to say the least, since it’s evident that police departments across the country aren’t properly trained to deescalate mental crises. Set a new example for other police departments in the United States by investing in better training and improved protocol when responding to mental health incidents. Compassion should always triumph over violence.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: torbakhopper

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2 Comments

  1. I guess it’s best not to call the police if you’re having mental/emotional stress. The police act like a bunch of bullies and over exaggerate and might harm/murder you! True Sickos!

  2. gen agustsson says:

    no wonder if she’s in a psych ward or in jail once again.

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