The San Antonio police have plainclothes officers who are experts in what is called Crisis Intervention Training.
Editorial: Jail and isolation brutalize people with mental illness
By the time he turned 18, Chapman said her son was stabilized and taking his medications. But she didn’t realize that she needed to fill out a new set of paperwork for him to continue to receive benefits as an adult, and so he lost his doctors and medications.
Off the meds, [Nikko] Albanese self-medicated with street drugs. To get them, one day, he took an unloaded gun and held up a Pizza Hut with a buddy.
Nikko Albanese’s useless weapon-of-choice for a hold up – an unloaded gun – presented a very real danger. To him. This is Florida. People get shot to death for playing their music too loud here. And for throwing popcorn. Brandishing an unloaded gun in Florida isn’t semi-suicidal, it’s nearly all the way there: it’s an irrational decision … one which was consistent with Nikko’s mental health history.
A wise prosecutor would have have sought treatment rather than a prison sentence for Nikko, but we have damn few wise prosecutors. Again, it’s Florida. Within one Florida judicial circuit, prosecutors let officers get away with nearly kicking/beating/tasing dementia suffering minority business owner Albert Flowers to death (with premeditation), prosecutors framed scores of individuals using a charlatan dog handler and coached informants (including Juan Ramos, Wilton Dedge, Willliam Dillon, etc.), George Zimmerman got away with killing Trayvon Martin, and much, much more. Our prosecutors – get this – have banded together to address other people’s corruption, with the state attorney from the lawless judicial circuit I just described – Phil Archer – leading the smoke’n’mirrors charge.
Heather Chapman fears for her son’s safety within the Florida Department of Corrections are justified … the Dade Correctional Institution officers who scalded mentally ill inmate Darren Rainey to death in June of 2012 have not been held accountable, which makes it clear to all corrections personnel that it is still (more than three years later) “open season” on inmates, despite all of Governor Rick Scott’s media hype about reform. It’s also “open season” on inmates in Florida jails and juvenile detention centers, and patients in Florida mental health facilities.
It doesn’t have to be this way, not in Florida, not anywhere. Crisis Intervention Training is saving municipalities like San Antonio big, big bucks, while saving lives, and those savings are realized by every Texan in reduced incarceration and institutionalization costs (while Dallas continues to do the exact opposite, blowing the bucks that San Antonio saved).
Please steel yourself to its graphic nature, and take the time to watch the video about the difference between San Antonio and Dallas in addressing mental illness, and see how we can have a future – nationwide – where no family member of a mentally ill person feels the need to publicly caution others that have mental illness in their families – as Heather Chapman did – knowing that Rick Scott, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the FBI and Department of Justice are all content with the criminalization of mental illness that harmed her son, killed Darren Rainey, and denied justice for his family:
“Never call the police. They are not your friend. The court system is not your friend. They are not here to help.”
Darren Rainey – Scalded to death by Dade Correctional Institution officers in June of 2012