Within 19 Seconds Cops Shoot Mentally Ill Man Holding Screwdriver
Video from an unnamed source was released on Monday showing two Dallas police officers responding to a call from the mother of Jason Harrison seeking help to take him to the hospital since he was off his medication and acting erratically. Harrison was shot within 19 seconds of the officers knocking on the door. Warning: This video is disturbing.
The Dallas Morning News reports:
Two Dallas police officers shot Jason Harrison, 38, at his home on June 14. Police said at the time that Harrison’s mother told them he was making “violent threats” and that Harrison, who was armed with a screwdriver, became aggressive when the officers ordered him to drop it.
The mother who warned the police officers that her son was “bipolar schizo” screams “You killed my child!” as the cops open fire on Harrison as he steps forward with a screwdriver smaller than his hand. How many dead Black people will it take before a real conversation about how to engage with people seeking help will happen? Just last week an unarmed naked bipolar man was killed when the officers had the option to Taze him.
How do you gun down a mentally ill man after being told he’s mentally ill? The mother literally walks out of the house with no fear of her son yet the cops deemed him a threat within 19 seconds. I can only imagine the anguish this mother feels knowing she called the cops to help her son and they took his life.
Think Progress reports:
Studies in several cities have found that about half of police shooting victims are mentally ill, and that the mentally ill are disproportionate victims of excessive police force. Too often, these incidents started as calls for help. Another case that is now before the U.S. Supreme Court involves a lawsuit by a woman who actually survived a police shooting, after officers were called to a San Francisco group home for help transporting Teresa Sheehan to a mental health facility.
The family has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. The video was obtained as part of that investigation.