Hyattsville, MD — Two cops in Maryland are being praised in the local media after responding to a call about a belligerent mentally ill man in a convenience store. Instead of escalating force and beating, arresting, or killing the mentally ill man, the officers showed compassion and resolved the situation without even using handcuffs. They have now set the bar for other cops across the country.
As TFTP has frequently pointed out, even cops who voluntarily attend Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), have shown that they are quick to the trigger when dealing with the mentally ill.
The overwhelming majority of time spent by police during training is devoted to shooting their weapons. Very little time is set aside for training in de-escalation tactics, and most departments receive zero training in dealing with the mentally ill.
The list of unarmed and often completely innocent mentally ill people killed by police is immense. TFTP archives are full of tragic stories in which police were called to help someone in a crisis and end up murdering them. People are killed even when they aren’t in a crisis and simply act differently like Elijah McClain, who was on his way home from buying groceries and was murdered by police because he was an introvert and wore a ski mask.
The Hyattsville police department is apparently attempting to change this paradigm and the reactions by Officers Edgar Andrickson-Franco and Mancini Gaskill while responding to a mentally ill man in a crisis, shows it may be working.