Police Abuse

Phoenix Creating Mental Health Board for PD After Fatal Shooting of Hammer-Wielding Woman

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In August Officer Percy Dupra shot and killed Michelle Cusseaux in Phoenix, Arizona, after the woman allegedly wielded a hammer while police were executing an order to bring her to a mental health facility. This week the city announced reforms in response to the shooting.

The Phoenix New Times reports:

"August 14, 2014, was a tragic day not only for the Cusseaux family, but for our department as well," [Police Chief Daniel] Garcia said at a press conference yesterday, where Cusseaux's mother was in the audience.

The main change going forward is the creation of a mental health advisory board that reports directly to the police department.

"This is not a task force, this is not a temporary board," Mayor Greg Stanton said. "This is a board that's going to be made up the top mental-health professionals in our community, providing constant guidance to the police department."

According to the police department, all cops received two hours of mental health training after the Cusseaux shooting. Police will also try to minimize their involvement in mental-health crises—cops were there to take Cusseaux to a mental hospital on a court order.

For those not convinced the advisory board, made up mostly of local mental health providers, will work the city has apparently used them for the police department before. From the Times:

Councilman Michael Nowakowski said he was placed on a police advisory board 20 years ago, and it's still active.

"I know that these advisory boards work," he said. "These advisory boards have direct communication to the chief and top administrators of the Phoenix Police Department. This is where change happens."

Garcia says more reforms are on the way but wouldn't say specifically how the shooting of Cusseaux informed the reforms, because that shooting is still being investigated.

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  1. Do you really need an advisory board to tell you not to shoot a woman with a hammer? I guess the answer is yes.

    1. Isn’t this the kind of scenario that the ‘less lethal’ Taser was actually intended to be used for?

  2. Well I’m confident that some polite but firm conversations between toothless mental health bureaucrats and law enforcement administrators who haven’t seen the street in 20 years ought to fix that whole police brutality situation right up.

    Oversight! Accountability!! Democracy in Action!!!

  3. They’ll be offering “grief counseling” to cops who gun down civilians, I assume.

  4. I’m all for it. As a LEO who went to grad school for counselling psychology, I know there are plenty of improvements that can be made. And of course, EDP that presents danger should be dealt with with proper officer safety and of course sometimes that means deadly force. You’re never read about the extremely common incidents where carps including myself have disarmed knife wielding bat wielding or other dangerous weapon wielding EDPs you only read about the ones where we do end up shooting the person.

    One of my partners about six months ago got slashed it buy an EDP wielding a box cutter of all things he wasn’t Hurt but he was obviously justifyied in shooting and even had to replace hisuniform shirt such that he had to get a whole new shirt to replace it. did this make the news? of course not if he had shot the person would it have? Of course

    On the hole in my experience please do an excellent job dealing with EDPs and I strongly support mental health professionals do ridealongs is with the local police to offer advice and to see in fact what they do, which on the whole is damn fine work

    In the instant case will have to wait and see for the investigation before we all know if the shooting was good

    1. Serious question. Why do you have tasers and pepper spray if you are justified in shooting someone with a melee weapon? You think you would want to cut down on the crap you carry.

      1. Why do you have tasers and pepper spray if you are justified in shooting someone with a melee weapon?

        Because tasing and pepper-spraying people is just so much fun sometimes.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSYlxzCHvKg

    2. Also a serious question. Why don’t you post under your real handle? Could it be that you’re not Dunphy, but a lying piece of shit?

      1. I’ll grant you, I’ve never been convinced that it’s Dunphy, but out of curiosity, why do you think it’s trolling under a Dunphy alias?

        1. Who knows. Attention? Maybe it’s Tulpa or even Mary, but if it were the real Dunphy it could prove it in 3 seconds. It won’t, most likely because it can’t.

          Nothing goes to credibility (or lack thereof) like trying to pass yourself off as someone else.

          1. Yeah, the way to go about changing your handle is to announce you are going to do so under your old handle, and maybe remind people a few times under your new handle.

  5. Do you really need an advisory board to tell you not to shoot a woman with a hammer?

    I gotta get me one of those hammerguns.

    1. It’s called a nailgun, dummy. Oh wait…

      1. I was educated in a public school in Florida. Do you really think I was taught sentence structure or grammar?

  6. That first sentence needs some work.

    1. I read it three times before I realized that there were two spaces after “killed” where the woman’s name should have been?

    2. Oh thank goodness it’s not just me. I was afraid I was stroking out or something.

    3. The whole piece is a grammar disaster, but I guess the story is interesting.

    4. The paragraph/sentence that starts with, “For those not convinced…” also seems to be missing several words.

      This is at least the second consecutive article from Ed with serious editing problems.

  7. For those not convinced the advisory board, made up mostly of local mental health providers, the city has apparently used them for the police department before.

    The first sentence in the seventh paragraph needs work, too. I think it’s missing a verb?

  8. So as opposed to using existing methods, i.e. firing the idiot cop and bringing him up on charges, let’s spend some more of the taxpayer’s money creating a new agency.

    Oh, BTW, this is Percy Dupra…

    Need I say more?

    1. Pursie?

  9. “This is a board that’s going to be made up the top mental-health professionals in our community,

    TOP. MEN.

    They’re like magic. They make state crime and private commerce disappear!

    1. I was expecting MC Hammer. That was much better.

  10. “August 14, 2014, was a tragic day not only for the Cusseaux family, but for our department as well,” [Police Chief Daniel] Garcia said at a press conference yesterday, where Cusseaux’s mother was in the audience.

    I’m sure many tragic high-fives were exchanged back at the precinct after the shooting.

    1. Who wanted her committed? The same people who played Peter, Paul, and Mary’s ‘If I Had a Hammer’ at her memorial?

  11. Police will also try to minimize their involvement in mental-health crises

    Now this is a very good idea, even for cops who have two whole hours of “mental health training.”

    California, of course, is going in the opposite direction.

  12. Top.People.
    What could go wrong.

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