Families calling 911 for medical assistance with their loved ones frequently get police assistance instead. Over the years, the consequences of dispatching police to medical crises have been absolutely disastrous, with innocent individuals in need of a doctor being met with fists, batons, pepper spray, and even gunshots. Travis Moya is the latest victim of this heinous ineptitude, having been mauled in his front yard by a K-9 for requiring medical assistance.
Moya's attorneys are now requesting that the policemen involved face criminal charges for their conduct that day. According to a statement released Thursday, “at this time, no complaint has been filed regarding this matter; however, in accordance with our policies, a use of force investigation is being conducted in this matter, as is done in any instance of a use of force incident involving one of our Officers.”
According to Moya's lawyer, L. Chris Stewart, the event occurred on Sunday when he was "having a mental health crisis and awaiting an ambulance" at his house in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta. When the police arrived, Stewart said that "a K-9 was let free" and assaulted Moya, who was "unarmed, non-violent, and not fighting arrest."
Moya's wife captured the assault on cell phone video, which shows cops throwing Moya to the ground, jumping on top of him, holding him down, and then forcing the K-9 to maul him.
“He was immobile, unable to kick. He was unable to repel the dog. He was forced to lie there while the dog tore him apart,” attorney L. Chris Stewart said.
The hospital video demonstrates the extent of Moya's arm and upper shoulder injuries. They are graphic.
Instead of assisting the vulnerable guy, cops arrested him and charged him with a crime. Moya is now facing felony obstruction charges for requiring medical assistance but being mauled by a police K-9 instead.
“There was no cause for him to be held or arrested in the first place. However, instead of an ambulance, eight policemen arrived,” attorney Gerald Griggs said.
“We're also requesting that she initiate an inquiry into these cops' conduct. And, if she determines criminal responsibility, to prosecute each and every one of these officers,” Griggs said.
Despite the fact that they have their own video, the family is requesting to view the officer's body camera footage in order to corroborate their own.
“They ought to disclose the body camera footage immediately. Because this video will not lie. They were all equipped with body cameras, including the K9 handler,” Stewart said.
As shown, and as this example demonstrates, even police who willingly undergo Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) have demonstrated a proclivity for violence when dealing with mentally ill individuals.
The number of unarmed and often totally innocent mentally ill individuals who have been seriously wounded or murdered by police is lengthy. The PBWW Channel archives are replete with sad tales of police officers who were summoned to assist someone in distress and ended up killing them. People are slain even when they are not experiencing a crisis and are just acting differently, as was the case with Elijah McClain, who was on his way home after grocery shopping when he was shot by police for being an introvert who wore a ski mask.
This is why some towns have started to remove police completely from the issue.
Denver launched the Support Team Assistance Response (STAR) program on June 1, 2020, which dispatches a mental health expert and a paramedic to certain 911 calls in lieu of police. When we initially reported on the program in October 2020, we were blown away by their findings. Now, it seems as if departments that continue to operate in the traditional manner are doing a disservice to the mentally ill.
According to their most recent statistics, STAR has responded to over 2,500 911 calls in which police would usually be sent. The STAR squad, armed only with expertise and compassion, has never once requested assistance from the authorities and has never been detained.
They have resolved every single call without murdering, beating, or destroying anyone's life. Consider this.