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How Police Can Stop Shooting People With Disabilities


How Police Can Stop Shooting People With Disabilities

Claudia Center

Hundreds of Americans with disabilities die each year in police encounters, and many more are seriously injured. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case about one of these interactions.


Thank you for this article
When the ADA was finally brought onto the national radar, after so many years of dignifying the love, hard work and organizing of millions of people, I thought the we grew and advanced in providing some depth to the nation.
It is important that ‘one nation under God’, so recently added, also recognize that ‘the least amongst us’ means all of us. None of us, if we are honest about it, are without some disability.
The consequences of degrading of ‘peace officers’ by militarization of the police is emblematic of the short circuiting of societal equilibrium. It de facto mandates that the human beings who work in ‘law enforcement’ answer to hierarchies that have already ‘externalized’ / marginalized/excluded the sphere of functioning as an informed, dignified participant in society for the sake of ‘cost cutting’ and profit making.
In the long run dignity is a highly economical principle and well worth the investment.


How does one sleep at night knowing that they applied lethal force against a mentally compromised woman with a bread knife? It must take a HELL of a lot of training to beat the humanity out of law enforcement officers. LEO culture is not going to change any time soon from what I keep seeing.


Patience, calm communication, deescalation - human decency and respect - should be tools in EVERY cop’s toolkit and training, and should be the basic template for EVERY encounter.

Cops are trained instead to work from a template of presumptive ESCALATION in any situation.


Patience, calm, and de-escalation should be in every cop’s tool bag.

However, it really helps when local police departments appoint and train a few mental health liaison officers. This way, the department is guaranteed to have one or a few officers who know how to respond correctly to these kinds of calls!

The difference is night and day at one local department that I am familiar with. When the mental health liaison is sent, people agree to go to hospital evaluations calmly. The officer sometimes skips on using handcuffs. When regular officers are sent, bad end results do not just include violent escalations. Bad results can also come from a lack of sympathy and annoyance with having to deal with a mental health call. One 911 call for a suicide in progress that I am aware of resulted in the responding officers ignoring the bottle of pills in plain view and merely telling the suicidal person that “their therapist wants them to call them” and then leaving!

– Zagone


The first thing our basic training company commander told us is that “in uniform” we are all seen and judged the same. It is the uniform that represents your character while in uniform. He said: “It is your duty to be on your best conduct in uniform because that uniform will be used to judged you in the eyes of others.” It was an easily understood warning and a suggestion worthy of mindfulness. We were educated in the need to always be aware that we are ambassadors of the country we serve.

What are America’s police suggesting in murdering unarmed people posing no possible threat?


The mature solution here is to disarm the police and power down the fear machine that the Bush administration began to further sustain the war industry. These stories depict a total betrayal of compassionate consciousness. The nation needs to invest in human health rather than oppression for profit. This is just one more on the blatantly obvious list. Systemic scale.


Cop culture is all about domination.

“I don’t like you attitude.” Or, “I better not see you on my beat again.”

As long as that goes on they will be murderers.


That’s where Civilian Review Boards and/or Civilian overseers in Police departments throughout the United States would come in handy. There should be laws in the books that actually require police departments throughout this country, in all cities, towns and villages (i. e. urban, suburban and rural areas) to have Civilian Review Boards or/and a Civilian Overseer in their departments.


As a retired police officer with family members that have suffered or are currently suffering from mental disabilities, I have personally witnessed this conundrum in action for many years. I firmly believe that law enforcement needs to rethink this serious problem and then go outside of its training box to bring in civilian experts and professionals to instruct and train police on more effective means of dealing with people suffering through a mental crisis. I know for certain that the biggest fear of most police officers is loss of control. This fear is highly exacerbated when people do not comply with their commands. In many cases, what follows is that the police get out of control themselves and go into survival mode. The rest needs no further explanation. The only constant is change. You either change because it is the right thing to do or you get changed by forces from outside your domain! A good example of forced change was the Miranda decision that guaranteed the right to have an attorney present during police questioning. At the time, police were wringing their hands and predicitng an end to effective police interrogation procedures. What actually happened was that police became better interrogators while remaining legally and respectfully within the scope of the Fifth Amendment. Well, the time for change in the way police are trained to handle people in mental crisis is now. The ball is in their court.


Excellent post…


It’s 1930’s Berlin Brownshirts all over again. Either there’s something wrong with this generation, or there’s something wrong with all layers of government.

I suspect it’s the later.


Never call 911 under any circumstances. You have better odds just rolling the dice in public, whatever the crisis is, than to summon a militarized death squad to the scene.

I won’t call 911 for any reason at all.

Shooting dogs is automatic with these sadists in uniform. Trumping up charges on everyone present is a given.

The only answer is to disarm all cops like they did in London for years.


I know a 5 foot female police officer that could handle that situation.
I have a suggestion. If an officer pulls his gun in the line of duty he should not have a gun for three months. He should go through training, have a desk job, etc. before he can have his/her gun back. This should not be viewed as punitive.


Either there’s something wrong with this generation, or there’s something wrong with all layers of government.

Frankly, imho, it’s a deadly, dangerous combination of both of the above.

I have a neighbor who not only wishes to control every move I make, but she’s also been recording what I say on the telephone, which is even more disgusting, because she really has no business doing that.