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- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
"Every time the police stop someone or are called to a disturbance, as should have been made clear by the police shooting of the past week, police are in danger and do not know what they are going to encounter. The mentally ill or drunk are often the most unpredictable and most dangerous. "
This assumption is not borne out by studies, absent substance abuse - which is a predictor of violence-... even those 'mentally labeled' who are recently released from state hospital commitment are slightly -less dangerous- than the general population and are more likely to be victims rather than victimize others.
This is a product of malappropriated cultural fears disconnected from facts by the perception of the mentally labeled as irrational or unpredictable. This sort of toxic negative perception too often drives public, media, and mental health system activities and is discriminatory without much public outcry. NAMI is suspect precisely because of its active support for these sorts of stereotypes. This public vilification actually makes the lives and prospects of those who may otherwise recover much much worse.
There are a number of ways to protect the safety of someone who is suffering through an overwhelming time and is unable to effectively communicate their reality to a cop on the beat. Looking for an answer without talking to someone who has 'been there' apparently is not solving the problem, and as public fear escalates, so do the number of avoidable tragedies. It is time to include the voices of those who can provide a personalized insight into the risks.
The reason this is not done is sad. The discrimination against those who are needlessly shot or injured is so great that there is often no public will or interest in finding a more human alternative, or even to include the voices of those experienced in the dialogue. It makes a person wonder that, maybe it really is not the police that are ultimately responsible for the aggregate of these unfortunate deaths.
It is worth noting too that there are -never- any indictments or findings, true even in the flagrant example of James Chasse, nothing was done until a massive protest by activists over the obvious abuse. This would not happen unless there was a general tolerance of violence and forced against the labeled.
Those that experience things differently are often a natural result of our environment as well as a large number of complex contributing factors. Death should not be the price of 'being different' or being the kind of person police can de-escalate rather than shoot. Drake Ewbank
posted 2 years, 3 months ago
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