Crisis

Rethink Crisis Response

People who call 911 shouldn't get an ill-trained police officer, especially when they're dealing with a mental health emergency.

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In this month's issue, we draw on decades of Reason journalism about policing and criminal justice to make practical suggestions about how to use the momentum of this summer's tumultuous protests productively. Check out Damon Root on abolishing qualified immunity, Peter Suderman on busting the police unions, Jacob Sullum on ending the war on drugs, Zuri Davis on restricting asset forfeiture, C.J. Ciaramella on regulating use of force, Alec Ward on releasing body cam footage, Jonathan Blanks on stopping overpolicing, Stephen Davies on defunding the police, and Nick Gillespie interviewing former Reasoner Radley Balko on police militarization.

"'The only thing we've accomplished is becoming the world's largest incarcerator, sending people with mental health and addiction issues to prison…,' [NAACP director Robert] Rooks said."
Mike Riggs
"Black Behind Bars"
November 2011

"Please just send one police car, please don't have your weapons drawn, please take him to the hospital." These are the words that many families with a mentally ill loved one have learned to say when crisis strikes. Sabah Muhammad and her siblings have spoken them several times since 2007, the year her brother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He had been a standout student and star running back at his high school near Atlanta, but everything changed around his 18th birthday. "He would become catatonic, barely moving, just staring into space," Sabah explains. "Sometimes he locked himself in his room for weeks, refusing food, except to come out of his room at 3 a.m. to make toast that he blackened to carbon 'to get the poison out.'"

Mute and malnourished, he would not allow family to take him to a psychiatrist—but he desperately needed help. The only option in the Muhammads' Atlanta jurisdiction was a 911 call to report a psychiatric emergency, which tended to bring the police, multiple squad cars with lights flashing, and the ominous specter of armed agents encountering a young black man in a delusional state. So Sabah and her family would call the police, and pray.

The data justify their dread. Between 25 and 50 percent of all people killed annually by police are in the midst of a mental health crisis when they're slain, according to a report by the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC), a Virginia-based nonprofit dedicated to improving treatment for people with serious mental illnesses.

Nationwide, a person with a psychotic illness is 16 times more likely to be killed during a police encounter than a person without such a condition. And even encounters that do not end in death have dire consequences such as violent confrontations, arrests, and incarceration.

Police are often the first responders because there is no one else who can attend to a person in crisis. "I don't think we have any option but to be social workers, marriage counselors, coaches," Joann Peterson, a retired New Haven police captain, told the Connecticut Mirror in June. At the same time, having police on the front lines of such incidents wastes community resources, overburdens law enforcement, and, when things go badly, criminalizes severe behavioral disruption due to illness.

The answer to such tragedies seems obvious: reduce encounters between police and people with mental illness or, at least, change their nature. "Cop culture has always been, 'We're the people who respond to a crisis, jump out of the car, and take immediate action,'" New York Police Department Assistant Chief Matthew Pontillo told colleagues at a Police Executive Research Forum in 2015. "And we're saying, 'No, that's not the correct paradigm anymore.'" While wholesale replacement of police officers with social workers is unrealistic, there are police-based programs that respond humanely to people who are in crisis.

The best-known example is Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for police. The program was created by authorities in Memphis, Tennessee, following the tragic death of 27-year-old Joseph DeWayne Robinson in 1987. Robinson's mother called the police because her son was cutting himself with a large knife, inflicting over 100 wounds on his body, and threatening to kill himself. When police arrived, Robinson reportedly lunged with the knife, and they fired. According to some accounts, Robinson was high on crack; others said he had paranoid schizophrenia; together or separately, these states could make someone psychotic and agitated.

The disaster spurred the city of Memphis to develop a system for diverting people with mental illness from the criminal justice system. The Memphis Model of CIT training has three parts. The first involves 40 hours of training in mental health for self-selected police officers. Often, it turns out, those who enroll also have a mentally ill family member. That is true of about 45 percent of program participants, according to Police Lt. Col. Vincent Beasley. The second part entails clear lines of communication so that the specialized CIT will be dispatched to all mental health emergencies. The third is a mental health facility with a guaranteed acceptance policy where the police can bring a distraught individual. Today, there are 2,700 CIT programs, accounting for 15–17 percent of all police agencies in the country.

During CIT training, officers learn to recognize tense situations and to defuse them by not confronting people, yelling directions, or making quick movements. The idea is to "slow the situation down," to keep people from feeling cornered or under threat. (To reduce tension, police on the Tucson CIT drive unmarked cars and do not wear uniforms, for example.) Officers are trained to recognize the signs of psychosis and suicidal despair. They learn about post-traumatic stress disorder and extreme reactions to drugs, such as PCP or methamphetamine, that can produce intense agitation or paranoia. They understand that people with schizophrenia or people who are manic may be responding to hallucinations or may refuse to cooperate with police requests because voices tell them not to.

Perhaps deployment of a CIT-trained officer could have prevented the death of Queens resident George Zapantis in June. The 29-year-old man, who suffered from bipolar illness, was dressed as a gladiator and wielding a large sword in his mother's basement. Police tased him multiple times after a neighbor called them, and he died of a heart attack.

Perhaps a different response would have saved Tony Timpa, 32, who called Dallas police from the parking lot of a porn shop in 2016. Off his antipsychotic medication, Timpa was afraid and anxious. Police arrived to find him already handcuffed by security guards of a nearby store. Yet in a sickening foreshadowing of George Floyd's death, they had him lie face down, and an officer pressed a knee into his back for 15 deadly minutes.

Or perhaps better training would have discouraged police from fatally shooting 29-year-old Osaze Osagie, who had schizophrenia and was autistic, in 2019. When officers arrived at his apartment near Penn State, at the behest of his worried family, Osagie bolted out the door holding a knife. In the chaos, one of the officers opened fire.

Data on the CIT program offer mixed reassurance. A 2014 meta-analysis revealed no differences in arrests or use of force between officers who were and who were not trained; a 2019 review of research found rampant variability within training programs; and another analysis, from the Police Executive Research Forum, found that participants sometimes spent as little as eight hours in training. In New York City, where half of the police force has undergone CIT training since 2015, 16 people with mental illness have been killed in encounters with law enforcement since the training began, exceeding the number killed in the five years prior to initiation of the program.

The problem, scholars conclude, is poor fidelity to the three-part Memphis Model. When CITs operate within small regions with close adherence to the parameters—most notably, when they're paired with fortified community-based mental health services—they tend to be more effective. San Antonio, for example, built a "Restoration Center" for psychiatric and substance abuse emergencies and a 22-acre campus for short-term in-patient stays with detox units and a medical clinic. Police were then able to divert more than 100,000 people from jail and emergency rooms to treatment between 2008 and 2016.

Miami-Dade is a large county that was able to follow the tripartite strategy. Shootings by police have declined by 90 percent since CIT training was implemented in 2010, but the program accomplished something more: It shined a light on the high incidence among police of depression and suicide. According to Judge Steven Leifman, who established the Miami-Dade program, officers who go through the training "have been more willing to recognize their own stress [and] reach out to the program's coordinator for mental-health advice and treatment for their own traumas."

Other cities deploy crisis teams that are solely mental health–based; police are not part of the first line at all. One of the nation's longest-running examples of this is CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets). It was created 31 years ago as part of an outreach program of the White Bird Clinic in Eugene, Oregon—once a countercultural medical clinic founded in 1970 as a refuge for hippies on LSD trips and other drug-taking youth. Calls for help are routed to staff 24/7 by the local 911 dispatcher. A medic and a mental health professional respond as a team to incidents such as altercations, overdoses, and welfare checks. They wear jeans and hoodies and arrive in a white van stocked with supplies like socks, soap, water, and gloves. Should a situation spin out of control, they call for CIT-trained police back-up, though last year only 150 out of 24,000 field calls required back-up. People who need further attention are taken to a crisis care facility operated by the mental health department—no trips to jail or to overflowing emergency rooms.

Mental health teams can bring some much-needed relief to municipal budgets. According to TAC, police officers across 355 law enforcement agencies spent slightly over one-fifth of their time responding to people with mental illness or transporting them to jail or psychiatric emergency rooms, at a cost of $918 million in 2017. The CAHOOTS flagship program in Eugene operated on a $2 million budget in 2019 and saved the locale about $14 million in ambulance transport and emergency room care. Within the year, a number of cities (including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Durham, North Carolina) will be launching programs similar to CAHOOTS.

The best crisis intervention programs help reduce the toll of police involvement gone awry, but the only way to take encounters out of the hands of police in all but the most dangerous instances is to repair the mental health system itself, which is a notoriously tattered network of therapists, psychiatrists, hospitals, residential settings, and support services, and work to prevent ill people from lapsing into crisis in the first place.

For a glaring manifestation of the current failure, look to the criminal justice system. In 44 states, a jail or prison holds more mentally ill individuals than does the largest state psychiatric hospital. A person with a severe condition, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, is 10 times more likely to be in a jail or prison than a hospital bed.

But once the crisis is underway, the people who show up at the scene must do the right thing. Balancing the proper role of police officers—as guardians vs. warriors—is now a subject of intense national debate. The mounting sense that America's criminal justice system needs fixing should find its fullest expression in the duty to protect and serve those who are mentally ill or emotionally disturbed.

 

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  1. Maybe don’t call cops for a mental health crisis that doesn’t involve violence?
    Cops are for crooks.

    A competent government could probably figure out a way to have another phone number for mental health issues. Or people with crazy family members could figure out ahead of time what to do for the particular crazy they have to deal with. You know, personal responsibility.

    1. They want a guy with a gun to show up, but not use it..

      1. They need a guy with a tranquilizer gun to show up, and use it.

        1. Don’t worry: when mind control is a thing. This won’t be a problem anymore.

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    3. Most people will not call the police for a mental health issue that does not involve violence. It is usually where the individual is threating themselves, others or destroying property that the police get called.

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    5. “A competent government could probably figure out”

      “Competent government” is an oxymoron.

    6. Doesn’t matter. In my town, if you dial 911 for medical or fire, a cop is being dispatched if they’re closer.

      1. Because you would lose your shit and sue if a cop was a block away and sat in his car while granny bled to death because the firemen were on the other side of town.

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    8. Well, you used to could call the guys with ” the butterfly net”. And they would rough you up to get you to go. And then we did away with that.
      The reason they call 911 is because – their loved one is dangerous. That is why they don’t put them into a car and take them to a hospital themselves. So they call strangers whose “job” it is to deal with violent dangerous people. And those strangers are supposed to just get hurt by their violent family member and not protect themselves.

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  3. “…but the only way to take encounters out of the hands of police in all but the most dangerous instances is to repair the mental health system itself…”

    But someone still needs to make the call on when an instance is most dangerous.

    It might be that the best response involves both mental health professionals and police, with the police just in a background role until the situation is evaluated.

    1. Or until a gun discharges.

    2. But someone still needs to make the call on when an instance is most dangerous.

      When the social worker is dead.

      1. Works for me.
        As long as no people are in danger

        1. Anyone else getting the impression the author needs to get out into the real world at least once?

          1. I have lost all patience with these idiots. Your typical 20something has no idea that the system and procedures we have today are based on decently solid reasoning after hundreds of years of trial and error.
            Did you know the cops killed a 13 year old autistic boy in Lancaster yesterday? He was just silently playing with his toys and rocking back and forth when he was murdered. He wasn’t actually a full grown adult who had stabbed 4 people previously who left like a ninja and sprinted at a cop with a huge blade overhead in the striking position

  4. “cutting himself with a large knife, inflicting over 100 wounds on his body, and threatening to kill himself. When police arrived, Robinson reportedly lunged with the knife, and they fired.”

    So we’ve got a bloody suspect lunging at police with a large knife. What should the police have done? Offered a hug? Would people be happy if Robinson knifed a cop instead? Would the police be praised if, after Robinson lunged at them, he’d killed a family member?

    It’s tragic when mental health problems lead to these situations but when police encounter someone who is irrational, violent, and armed then it doesn’t matter WHY the person is irrational, violent, and armed. The person is still a threat and police have to respond to the threat.

    Of course, there are bad cops (racist, corrupt, etc.) but we put good cops into life and death situations where they have to make split-second decisions. Then, under the luxury of unlimited time and distance, we judge their decisions and actions.

    I used to be neutral on the blue-black-all lives matter debate but there’s increasing pressure from the BLM movement to take a side (“silence is violence”). Between their demand for a loyalty oath and this summer’s riots, I’m moving toward Blue-Lives-Matter.

    1. “Would people be happy if Robinson knifed a cop instead?”

      Yep.
      Leftism is pure hate

    2. There are going to be situations where the police will have no choice and that may be what happened in this case. Another example is suicide by cop, where a depressed individual point a gun at a police officer. This not only result in a dead individual but a police officer has to process what they have done. It should be noted that these are a subset of cases and in many other cases a better response could yield a better outcome.

    3. What should the police have done?

      Backed off. Monitored the situation while calling and waiting for support and a tranquilizer gun. Meanwhile, psychiatric care should’ve been contacted for advice.

      Of course the fault isn’t the officers. It’s the procedures and processes that they are compelled to follow.

      1. Backing off is not really a viable option. If it was, the family would have “backed off” and not called police. Backing off increases the likelihood of death or injury to someone (including the perpetrator). You can’t just lock them in a room or house to bounce about and vent. As for as a tranquilizer gun, people are not elephants and police don’t have tranquilizer guns. Quit watching hHollywood movies.

        1. Yep, it is amazing how many people think that magic wands exist.

          Tasers fail, and so do actual tranquilizing drugs. The major difference is re-tazing carries minimal added risk, while re-dosing with more drugs can be fatal.

      2. Have you seen the body cam? He backed off at a full sprint down the block. The guy was gaining on him

      3. Backing off MAY have put the police out of harm’s way for a moment. But what about the family? What would have happened to them? In most states, the same principles that apply to self defense also apply to defense of others. You likely could have intervened with deadly force in this case. And that’s to say nothing of the fact that we specifically task the police to intervene in such cases. The notion of backing off is absolutely absurd.

    4. Thoughtful post. Thanks

  5. So if localities start the move to sending social workers for mental health issues I have one question:
    When betting on when the first social worker gets killed should we go by time like 1 week from implementation, or by number of incidences like 4 call the worker gets killed.?

    Less serious question, when the article mentions that a mentally ill person is 16 time more likely to be killed by a cop is that just the raw number or does that factor in the number of police interactions?

    1. The article mentioned a program that seemed like a good model:
      “A medic and a mental health professional respond as a team to incidents such as altercations, overdoses, and welfare checks. They wear jeans and hoodies and arrive in a white van stocked with supplies like socks, soap, water, and gloves. Should a situation spin out of control, they call for CIT-trained police back-up, though last year only 150 out of 24,000 field calls required back-up.”

    2. The solution to bad government is more government.

      Behold the ‘libertarian’ Reason!

      (This place is for shit.)

      1. This entire “defund” movement is about increasing the number of union municipal workers. Every incident will require a social worker, a medic, a DCFS worker, a Democrat party vote register/absentee ballot harvester, AND heavily armed cops.

  6. What do we want government to provide, and what are we willing to sanction and pay for?

    If police, and their monopoly on the use of force, have any valid role, it is protecting people and property from the actions of others.

    Deploying official trained mental health agents, presumably with some sanctioned authority, is more about protecting people from themselves. Yes, it may be kinder, and even cheaper, but it seems to cross an important line between individual liberty and what the state might define as normal or just acceptable behavior. And no risk that the state will misuse that, right?

      1. I like the Memphis model. They’re police but trained how to deal with these situations. Someone above mentioned a mental health hotline. It actually exists but most people aren’t aware of it.
        1 (800) 273-8288. This is the number. It is also the suicide hotline. I have it loaded in my phone’s memory so if I ever run across a situation that it is needed I can call it without having to look it up. Also, I have taken training in mental health first aid for adults and veterans and QPR (suicide prevention) both are less than a day long and offer good resources. I think all cops should receive these trainings at a minimum, with a CIT team modeled on the Memphis Model, at least in larger cities and towns, maybe even larger sheriff’s departments.
        Training can always be improved, and it would benefit the police as well as the public. I also think the DoD should implement these trainings for at least front line supervisors and medical personal, but would love to see it implemented for all Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airman. It would be more effective than the stupid biannual sexual harassment workshops we waste so much money on.

        1. Mormon lover! You probably live I some Goddamn godawful place like Miles City. MORMONS WERENT KILLED IN THE HOLOCAUST FOR BEING MORMON YOU LYING PIECE OF SHIT! All you’re doing is proving my point that Mormons can’t be trusted. Your cunt mother probably lied to you Mormon lover. Fuck Mormons and fuck inbred rednecks like you asshole. Loser and sucker! That’s what Trump thinks of you stupid goddamn mormon loving asshole. YOUR GOD IS FAKE LOSER!

          1. They were killed for their religious beliefs, which opposed Nazism, so yes they were killed for being Mormon. You just keep proving how deranged you are every time you post this shit. And no, I don’t live in Miles City, which isn’t a bad city to visit.

            1. Most didn’t oppose nazism. Most kept their heads down and shut up. The few who were killed were killed for opposing nazism! Not for being Mormon you inbred stupid fuck. I shouldn’t be surprised how goddamn dumb you’re. If you think Miles City is nice to visit you’re so fucking dumb. Goddamn Mormon loving asshole.

              1. You are the funniest poster

          2. What is wrong with you. I have really good friends that are Mormons and they are some of the best people I know. Not that Mormons even need to be defended from trolls or people off their medication like you. Seek help.

            1. Mormons are lying cheating scumbags who believe the rantings of a pedophile con artist. If youre friends with mormons you’re a shitty person

              1. Ok, you are a troll. I’ll ignore you from now on.

                1. Good. Mormon loving piece of trash. When the mormons go to the gas chambers you’ll need to go too.

          3. Somebody needs their meds adjusted.

          4. All your comment needs to convince me is more name calling and swearing.

            1. What makes it persuasive is the disciplined focus.
              Really stays on message

    1. Just send an antifa member in first. If they die, then we know it’s a police matter.

  7. http://twitter.com/LASDHQ/status/1304975945376305153?s=19

    To the protesters blocking the entrance & exit of the HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM yelling “We hope they die” referring to 2 LA Sheriff’s ambushed today in #Compton: DO NOT BLOCK EMERGENCY ENTRIES & EXITS TO THE HOSPITAL. People’s lives are at stake when ambulances can’t get through.

    1. Why were they just sitting there in the car?

      1. Where do you live? The next time you’re just sitting in your car, I’ll empty a magazine, and maybe someone will ask what you were just doing sitting in your car.

        1. Answer the question, why were two government agents sitting in a government car?

          1. You’re going to have to explain why you care, as that’s a lot more interesting than any speculation someone else could offer

          2. Because they didn’t want to waste gas and add to their carbon footprint.

            Now explain why you are here

  8. As a retiring cop of 35 years, I can assure you none of us want to go to mental health calls. It is no-win and all we do is cycle them thru the mental health system. Cause: Supreme Court ruling that set the standard for keeping somone in a mental health facility as “gravely disabled” or “a danger to himself or others.” We bring them in for a 72 hour hold which is all it takes to get them on meds or off the meth that is causing the immediate problem. Once they are calmed, they must be released. No long term commitment, no ability to force anyone to continue psych meds and so we wash, rinse and repeat. A majority of the homeless have mental health issues caused or exacerbated by drug use and dealing with them is also no-win. The thousands of mental health calls each year are primarily the same small group over and over. Families want solutions but the courts are tied by the SCOTUS rulings. No MD wants to lose their license by challenging it. The Sandy Hook shooter’s parents tried to get him in a facility for years and could not. None of these deaths are a surprise… it’s an eventuality.

    1. Yes, this. Also, do you considered that you were adequately trained and prepared to deal with these unique situations, or do you think a CIT modeled after the Memphis model described would have been beneficial? Or specific training in recognizing and dealing with mental health issues?

      1. We had a similar program in my county. Actually assigned psych nurses and others in the field to ride with patrol officers. As much as possible, they took the calls. The professionals were on our side… sending a uniform with a gun was not the best option, but frankly there was no other. I work with a guy who took that slot for a year. He got in more knock down drag out fights in that year than all the others combined. We catch ’em and the MDs have to release them. That’s the core problem. And to commenters above, we don’t have tranquilizer guns. It’s gotten worse. The carotid restraint (not chokehold or knee on neck BS) has bailed me out of bad situations. If I use it now, I will get fired. Next option is usually going to be deadly force. I am not going to tell the court that I didn’t use a move I know from experience is non-lethal because it could get me fired, so I shot them. The only remaining option in a no-win situation is not to play…

        1. Was recently talking with a psychiatrist friend, he was doing a legal consult on a case involving a young, large, male at the ER. He was clearly psychotic, violent, and all the usual meds were not working. So they intubated him. Patent airway, no respiratory distress, yet they intubated him.

          Succinyl choline always works. If only long enough to tie somebody down.

    2. You mean you DONT love dealing with flailing lunatics covered in their shit and disease and getting scratched and kicked and bitten and cleaning their puke out of your squad car? What is wrong with you?

    1. I think it does. It mentions the Memphis model, San Antonio’s program and Miami’s program. They seem to be doing something right. Maybe spend less on SWAT by curtailing some of their use and put it towards a CIT. They could even be part of SWAT to make some people happy.

  9. I thought a libertarian article would have mentioned at least one of the basic precepts of libertarianism, which is that the state has no business enforcing laws that aren’t based around violations of the Non-Aggression Principle, aka there shouldn’t be criminal laws against “victimless crimes”.

    Why would a libertarian say the state has any business dispatching agents (paid for by tax money) to intervene in someone’s affairs when they haven’t committed a crime or harmed others? Wouldn’t a libertarian want the 911 dispatchers to basically tell these people calling in “that’s not a police or governmental matter, being schizophrenic or suicidal is not a crime”?

    Additionally, even if this goes extremely well I don’t think this will overall have a noticeable effect on police-community relations throughout the country. The well known instances of police killings, that lead to nationwide demonstrations, did not involve a person experiencing a mental health crisis (Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor), whereas the absolutely egregious killing of Kelly Thomas, a schizophrenic homeless man, did not lead to nationwide demonstrations.

    1. It can quickly become a government matter. And suicide is a permenant solution to a temporary problem and is a major health concerns issue. One of my main concerns in working to decrease suicides is because as a gun owner I am tired of gun control advocates using suicide numbers to promote an infringement on my rights.

      1. If more Mormons killed themselves the world would be a better place. Mormons are people rotten to their core. They can’t be helped or fixed, I’m a pacificist(fuck you warmongerer, sucker, loser) but Mormons are a threat and need to be exterminated. You do too Mormon lover. You got Mormon dna you goddamn piece of shit. Pussy ass bitch inbred redneck

        1. Really? I think someone needs to call the CIT for you, you’re obviously experiencing some form of mental health issues. What do you think your deranged rantings prove, other than that you are psychotic?

          1. What do your lies about Mormons prove? They’re liars and cannot be trusted. They won’t do the honorable thing and stop having kids and converting people. They’re scumbags who belong in a confined space with zyklon b pumping in their lungs. Go ahead and call me a Nazi. We all know you’re the real Nazi you inbred right wing prick.

        2. Come on, try harder. Be like Hihn, and use more bold face and all caps.

        3. Ok. This was sufficient name calling and swearing to convince me of your argument. Bravo!

          1. Fucking Thank you Assface!

    2. Strict formulation around the non-aggression principle is one flavor of libertarianism. Reason has staked out more moderate, non-purist territory.

      1. The NAP is often in conflict with itself. Does ignoring someone in distress really violate the NAP? Or does assisting them, even if they can’t mentally consent, violate the NAP?

        1. Real life does come up with scenarios where trying to apply the NAP is messy.

          But that’s not really where Reason is coming from. The concept that libertarianism is all about the NAP is a fairly new idea among libertarians, and Reason has its roots more in classical liberalism.

          1. “The concept that libertarianism is all about the NAP is a fairly new idea among libertarians”

            No, it’s not new.

            The NAP goes all the way back to Locke and 1689:

            “Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.”

            1. That is akin to the non-aggression principle, but not as encompassing and without the accompanying modern libertarian subculture that has been built around the non-aggression principle where deducing what is the correct libertarian position to take in any particular scenario is determined largely by deduction from the NAP, and pragmatic and empirical checks on the results of the deduction are minimized.

              1. So it’s the basis of your faith, but not the Officially Sanctioned dogma that is your everything

            2. Jesus said “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

              Most Libertarians would run straight to the DNC if you told them Jesus founded libertarianism

              1. Hillel said it another way over a century before. The story is he was teaching his students and a Roman centurion walked in and said “teach me the whole of Torah while standing on one foot and I will become your student”

                The rabbi stood and said “do not do unto your neighbor what is hateful unto you. The rest is commentary. Now come and learn”

                It goes back even further. The golden rule is very old wisdom.

    3. This is the dumbest reference of libertarianism I can remember in quite some time. Congrats

  10. Gee, from the title, I was hoping this was an analysis of Newsom’s and Cuomo’s power grabs.

  11. I would suggest that we need to start by putting mental health in the same context as physical health. Understand that large numbers of people will have mental health problems, but understand that mental health problem are as different as the individual. For some they will be short term and minimal, for example depression after losing a job or a relationship goes bad. For others they many go on for many years and in many cases be controlled by drugs or therapy. Sadly some will have problems for much of their lives and like people with physical illnesses, it will shorten their lives. If we build a better understanding for all people we can start to develop better ways to interact during a mental health crisis.

    1. I actually agree with you Mid. Maybe we are in the end days.

      1. It was worthless pablum that in no way addresses the issue of limited resources and unknown variables first responders must keep in mind

    2. “…For some they will be short term and minimal, for example depression after losing a job or a relationship goes bad…”

      That is not a ‘mental health’ issue; it’s an appropriate response to a depressing occurrence.
      The tendency to label anything other than ‘happiness’ as a mental health problem is a problem itself.

      1. You missed my point that mental health is like physical health. In many cases you may not need intervention. If you catch a cold you take care of your self and it is self limiting. In a small number of cases it may lead to pneumonia and you will need help. Same for mental health, if you loss your job you may be depressed and it will be self limiting. You will get a new job and feel better. For some individuals the loss may hit them harder and could lead to some self harm.

  12. See this is where libertarianism breaks down. They don’t want people arrested or jailed, or committed to a mental health facility. Except when they become such a violent danger to themselves or others then the police or emergency response is expected to deal with a potentially violent person who cannot listen or respond. Then it’s all supposed to go perfectly well.

    Except that is impossible. It’s like hobo camps in shopping and residential areas. Can’t move em, not crazy enough to commit, so they just shit up the area until people and businesses move out. Same with rioters and looters. Libs just cannot bring themselves to condemn bad behavior so they let people wallow in shit until it all just becomes too unbearable because the cops gave up policing and the area goes to hell.

    It’s not a surprise most people equate libertarians with Somali warlords. Because that’s where the end of the road is for you.

    1. No. Some people need help. Libertarianism doesn’t stop us from helping people. And mental health crisis can be a danger to the community, so dealing with them doesn’t necessarily break the NAP.

      1. The libertarian position would be that you are free to start your own hotline to call that dispatches assistance for those undergoing a mental health crisis, weather it’s a private service you charge for or a charity service you fund yourself or through donations.

        It’s hard to see how someone that is ideologically libertarian would say taxpayer funded agents of the state should be sent to protect people from themselves, which is what any non-criminal mental health call really is. Saying the government should protect people from themselves also opens the whole other can of worms libertarians normally say they are opposed to (drug prohibition, prostitution, seat belt laws, etc.)

        1. This assumes they are only a danger to themselves. And it is in my opinion no different than calling a government funded paramedic to treat a heart attack.

          1. You should look into how paramedics got started. Hint: it wasn’t the government’s doing. Same thing for firefighters.

            1. I know how they got started and don’t oppose private but also don’t oppose government funded in areas where private doesn’t make as much sense.

              1. “I … don’t oppose government funded in areas where private doesn’t make as much sense.”

                Like muh roads? Private always makes more sense than the bureaucratic state and its monopoly on the legal use of force.

        2. And there are a number of charities that provide these services as well.

        3. And it doesn’t need to be a criminal case, it is a health issue. It would be the same as calling for an ambulance when you come across an auto accident with injuries. It isn’t at all akin to calling because someone is dealing drugs out of their double wide.

      2. Also, is someone in a mental health crisis, even drug induced capable of making a rational decision to seek help? If they aren’t, is it really violating the NAP to provide help, even if they say no? I mean if a child is being sexually abused and you call the police, despite them saying they don’t want to, most would agree that isn’t a violation of the NAP, because they aren’t mature enough to make that decision and by not calling the cops, you are putting them at more risk. Now someone who is drunk or high, and wants to get in a car, is it okay to stop them or contact the cops? Now if someone is having a severe mental health crisis, why would it be inappropriate to ignore their wishes and get them the help they need?

      3. But the obvious question is still when and how to force “help”.

      4. He said Some libertarians, and he is spot on. There are a lot of ridiculous doofuses here who can’t be trusted to reside in the real world, like the idiot above who mentioned 911 operators telling families to get bent because suicide doesn’t violate the NAP

    2. Libertarians need to learn to distinguish regular people from bums, jerks, grifters, criminals, and heroine addicts.

      The guy who works and pays taxes and supports his community deserves to be able to benefit from his efforts. Libertarians should stop trying to take all the benefits of American civilization away from the ones who pay to build and maintain it.

      1. “Libertarians should stop trying to take all the benefits of American civilization away from the ones who pay to build and maintain it.”

        Wut?

  13. 1 (800) 273-8288
    This is the number for the mental health crisis hotline and suicide hotline. I encourage everyone to add it to your contacts. You may never need it, but I don’t carry because I need to but in case I ever need it. The same with having this number handy.

    1. It’s 800-273-8255 or 800-273-TALK.

      1. Thanks. I’ll correct it must have typed it in wrong.

      2. I also carry the card in my pocket. Thanks for the correction.

      3. Thanks to both of you.

    2. Inbred goddamn hick. Loser, sucker and Mormon loving moron. I hope your cunt mother dies.

      1. Does you psychotic trolling make you feel better about being a psychotic incel?

      2. QUICK! Somebody call 911 and have them send the Psych Squad to Kill’s moms basement!

        1. Parents are dead so I don’t live in my mom’s basement.

          1. It would be great if you moved in 6 feet below your mother

  14. I’m at my favorite sports bar on what should be one of the busiest days of the year, and it’s nearly empty. It’s pretty sad.

    The ChiComs and their many friends in the American government/media propaganda complex have successfully terrified and demoralized America more the fucking 9/11 attackers did.

    1. Maybe everyone heard you were coming.

      1. At least, unlike you, no one smelled him coming.

      2. I’d tell you to go suck a dick, but you’re into that sort of thing, so…

    2. Your favorite sports bar is actually open?!

  15. This article really does get at one of the biggest problems – the lack of response options to 911. Having one number to call in emergency is the only correct thing for the public. But whether it is something like a mental health call – or racist Karens from NextDoor calling the cops for ‘strange black guys in the neighborhood – and ooh I’ll bet he’s armed too’. Gotta have better responses from 911 than just believe everyone and send SWAT.

    1. One of the things I never see brought up in regards to trying to reforming police is that most police encounters are started by someone calling 911 and speaking with a dispatcher. Why do we never focus on better training and questioning techniques for the dispatcher? Why don’t we tell dispatchers to tell more people “no, that’s not a police matter, we will not be sending police even just to check it out since they have more important matters to attend to”?

      Frankly, if police have so much time and manpower they are being sent to investigate every little thing some nosy busy body deems suspicious, they really could get their staffing cut or reassigned. A person you don’t recognize walking through the neighborhood is not worth police investigating. A guy running down the sidewalk at 2am in his underwear, barring no other activity, is not worth police investigating.

      Additionally, it is already a crime in every jurisdiction to lie to 911 dispatchers and say you saw something that did not happen. People that lie to dispatchers, or are otherwise willfully deceitful in an attempt to get a police presence, need to be prosecuted in accordance with local laws. For example, the person that called 911 over the black guy in Walmart with the airsoft gun lied to the dispatcher saying he was pointing it at people. Since there are cameras everywhere in Walmart, it was fairly easily proven he lied since the airsoft gun was never pointed at anyone. I believe the reporting party in his case was charged, only because it was such a high profile case. People need to be charged more often when there is substantial evidence they lied to 911. People need to be held accountable for when they use deception to get armed agents of the state to investigate a person. Additionally, it needs to be absolutely made clear that you don’t call the police to try and “teach your child a lesson” or some other nonsense.

      1. Sadly, there will always be a minority of population that will call the police at the slightest disturbance. If the police don’t respond, they will complain very loudly. What we need, as a start, is proper training in de-escalation and to weed out trigger-happy psychos from the force.

        1. I suspect you fall within that minority

      2. Does your dumb ass really not know that is what happens already?

        1. It is NOT what happen you fucking dumb ass. The reason Karens have become so entitled is precisely they have never had any consequences from lying through their teeth to law enforcement or 911. So they stretch it further and further. “Please help save me Mr Officer. It’s what women who batted eyelashes to get out of speeding tickets in their 20’s do in their 50’s and 60’s.

    2. Responders don’t get to shift blame for their actions onto 911 operators.

  16. We must demand that police always make every effort to keep everyone unharmed.

    Trying not to involve police only avoids the issue in some cases. The issue must be solved, not avoided.

    1. The job of the police is to protect the public, with the public being everyone else. Anyone who crosses paths with a cop isn’t the public. They’re a potential threat that the cop must be constantly prepared to kill.

      1. “The job of the police is to protect the public”

        That is a statement based on neither fact nor reality.

        1. Nor is it supported by SCOTUS.

          1. Explain your reasoning. Cases like Castle Rock simply establish that individual officers are not civilly liable for wrongful death claims for failure to intervene. This does not get to what is or is not the underlying purpose of policing.

    2. No. We must demand that police prevent some people from harming others. A blanket mandate to prevent harm is a nanny license to prohibit all sorts of adult choices.

      1. They need to not harm people. And they need to be always judged on whether they harmed people.

        I did not say “prevent”.

        1. If some person, crazy or not, is about to harm me or someone I care about (and really just any other innocent party), then I want the police to stop them–even if that means putting them down.

  17. Call any shrink and you’ll likely get their voice mail where the first thing they say is if you’re suicidal or in a life or death emergency hang up and dial 911!!! Even the shrinks don’t want anything to do with shit immediately going down, they want to talk about it after things calm down for $200 a hour!

  18. So basically you’re saying we should socialize mental health care?

    I would suggest the problem is that idea that 911 is some magic number where the government solves your problems. It’s not. Trying to turn it into one isn’t the answer.

  19. I propose we formally raise the police response to lethal first. Non lethal is only if they feel like it that day,

    If people expected that calling 911 is only as a last resort and will likely result in someone getting perforated, i strongly suspect this entire issue will quickly disappear.
    The public would learn to handle their own stupid problems.

    1. Yeah, because SWATing isn’t a thing…

  20. We’re only using a fraction of the technology that’s available.

    We’re just starting to equip first responders with body cameras when far more powerful technology, like google glass, has been ignored.

    First responders could connect online with any kind of professional who could hear and see the situation and communicate with the first responders.

    The technology exists. Problem solved.

    1. So this fatuous speculation brought everyone back to life unscathed? What a miracle!

      1. Miracles happen every day when BLM loot vandalize and terrorize without getting shot.

        They have no evidence of any actual policy that discriminates against blacks and they have no specific coherent demands.

        How about resurrecting some common sense?

      2. One thing all these BLM martyrs have in common is when police want to detain them for questioning, they don’t COMPLY.

        They escalate tension by threatening police with accusations of racism, then they resist arrest and if they don’t have a knee on their neck they reach for a weapon.

        When they get shot, they deserve it.

      3. No technology or policy is going to stop you from getting shot if you attack police.

        If the police can’t shoot you in self defence, I will. It’s something called law and order.

  21. I’m glad she acknowledged the monstrous premise of this otherwise good comedy. A couple breaks up, so they decide to divide up their infant twins — so each girl will never see the other parent, her sister, or any of her other relatives again? Or even know she has a sister? Just as in the original version of this movie, the real villains are clearly both parents…….. Read More   

  22. http://twitter.com/TweetBrettMac/status/1305280796190793731?s=19

    Black Lives Matter is spreading some insane rumor that Lancaster, PA just shot and killed a 14-year-old with autism.

    The man they shot was 28. If riots break out, this is the narrative they started.

    1. http://twitter.com/JoshuaPotash/status/1305316531044319233?s=19

      Police shot and killed an autistic man in Lancaster, PA today and left his body uncovered for hours. People are protesting outside the police HQ now.

      1. http://twitter.com/Austin_Zone/status/1305329713775366147?s=19

        #BREAKING: This is the shooting victim from the Lancaster PA police shooting.

        1. http://twitter.com/savlucy420/status/1305290072133074944?s=19

          THE POLICE IN LANCASTER PA HAVE MURDERED A BLACK PERSON THEIR CURRENT DEFENSE IS HE HAD A KNIFE AND IDGAF IF HE HAD A GUN HE SHOULD BE ALIVE THE KKKOPS NEED TO BE ABOLISHED NOW NOT A YEAR NOT 6 MONTHS FUCKING NOW

        2. http://twitter.com/joshuar59823159/status/1305309428099538944?s=19

          My city need to riot… a 13 yr old autistic boy killed by police. #LancasterPA #LancasterCounty

    2. The title of the article should have been, “Another BLM retard shot when attacking police”.

      1. You can’t say “retard.” Use “special needs person” instead.

  23. When the only tool you have is a SWAT team, everything looks like it needs to be riddled with bullets and blown up.

    1. Uniformed officers going to a 911 call is not the SWAT team, it’s just the ordinary patrol cop doing their job. And this particular job is not well done by police because it shouldn’t be their job.

  24. People who call 911 shouldn’t get an ill-trained police officer, especially when they’re dealing with a mental health emergency.

    Cops exist to remove violent threats, regardless of cause. If I’m being threatened by someone, I don’t care whether they are intrinsically a violent person or are having a mental health emergency; I want them removed quickly. That’s all I’m paying for with my taxes.

  25. How about the guy who was shot and killed while attempting to rob a gun store in Texas? Mental health crisis or stupidity crisis?

  26. “Police are often the first responders because there is no one else who can attend to a person in crisis.”

    This is the problem, calling police to be mental health responders when they aren’t mental health professionals. Police deal with behavior, and their reactions are based on the behaviors they meet. Mentally ill people are unpredictable and sometimes violent, so the response by police can involve use of force.

  27. What we need is a mental health care system wherein people who are ill and display violent or self-destructive behavior can be involuntarily committed, where they can be treated and be in a safe environment. Problem is, this costs MONEY. Lots of it.

  28. If you prefer law enforcement in the guise of medicine — the therapeutic state — then you couldn’t find a more suitable advocate than Satel. It was she who wrote, “”Force is the best medicine…legal sanctions — either imposed or threatened — may provide the leverage needed to keep them [illicit drug users] alive by keeping them in treatment. Voluntary help is often not enough.” She argued that New York “should put a statute on the books that allows outpatient commitment” of people who have not necessarily committed crimes but she considers “mentally ill,” or who violate drug laws.

    Thomas Szasz noted the obvious contradiction of Satel’s views on drug use. She wrote, Szasz noted, that “addiction is fundamentally a problem of behavior, over which addicts have voluntary control,” while she was “treating” drug users with methadone, whether they wanted it or not.

    When Sullum reviewed a book by Satel, he wrote that she “ends up defending authoritarian policies.” But Reason was different in those days, and has since provided a platform for Satel on several occasions. Sullum may still be on staff, but Reason increasingly embraces the authoritarian therapeutic state.

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