According to new research on police murders in 2021 conducted by the people at PoliceViolenceReport.org, the majority of police killings occur in response to calls where no crime occurred or when the person is accused of committing a non-violent infraction.
"The majority of deaths occurred as a result of police reacting to non-violent acts or circumstances in which no crime was registered," the study adds.
Police have repeatedly shown their inability to deal with mental health concerns. Since 2015, police in the United States has murdered over 1,400 persons who were suffering from a mental health crisis. Many of these individuals had never been charged with a crime prior to police arrival. Fortunately, a video released this week by Cook County demonstrates that the training is having an effect. The manner in which police interfered in the video below was so professional and successful that the subject of the film — a police officer attempting suicide — actually requested that the department broadcast it to demonstrate how properly they handled the matter.
"Not every call is criminal in nature," Officer Ryan Huber, who filmed the footage on his bodycam, said. "At times, it's someone who is acting out or experiencing mental turmoil."
That is precisely what occurred last month when police responded to a report of a guy darting in front of oncoming vehicles and acting erratically while strolling down the street.
"Communications indicated that someone was standing in the centre of Mannheim road attempting to leapfrog traffic," Huber recounted. The guy was making suicide threats. "As he approached me, he continued repeating, 'Shoot me, shoot me, I just want to die.'"
In 9 out of 10 of these encounters, regular users of the PBWW channel website can guess what would happen next. All too often, police officers comply and murder the distressed individual. However, not this time.
Huber employed de-escalation and patience instead of force, shouting, and escalation, with the assistance of his colleague and an officer from another agency who assisted in directing traffic.
Huber told ABC 7 that his CIT training enabled him to engage the guy without escalating the situation — and it worked. All too often, police will encounter someone like the individual in the video below and begin shouting and cursing at them, demanding that they surrender to their power. This never works since the individual is not being reasonable at the moment, and the screaming exacerbates their mental crisis.
The guy swung dozens of times at cops, who might have used it as an excuse to intensify the violence, but did not. Due to the cops' decision not to engage in aggressive behaviour, the individual was not detained and instead received the medical assistance he need.
"Instead of being harmed by the police, he was able to seek assistance, emergency medical care, and psychological therapy for something," Huber added.
According to ABC 7, the entire Cook County Sheriff's Police Department has received critical intervention training over the last many years. Sheriff Tom Dart said that there has been an uptick in occurrences involving mental health.
"We're getting an increasing number of calls where that is the only reason we're there," he said. "We are here to assist you."
Now, if only we could get the other 700,000 cops in America to follow suit.