The Westside Gazette

Mother calls for police help and they arrive and kill her son

Dr. Phillip Wright, Sr.

Mother calls for police help and they arrive and kill her son

Written by Dr. P. L. Wright Ph.D.

     A mentally challenged 25-year-old man, Levall Hall was killed by Miami Gardens Police Officer Trimeno. Police arrived on the scene and found a mentally challenged man with a four-foot broom in his hand. Police report that he directed an attack against them after two officers tazed him and they still could not subdue him. One officer decided to fire his weapon, striking Hall twice. Hall died on the scene.

I can recall during 1963 personally witnessing, when my neighbor, a mentally challenged man, needed assistance from a crisis intervention team to help him. My neighbor entered a residence’s home while we were having a fish fry. He entered their home and into the kitchen, and walked directly to the stove and reached into a hot frying pan of fish and took a fish out and bit it without a look in his face that it was steaming hot. The owners shouted, “Get out of here,” and he stood staring with a lost and blank look on his face before walking slowly outside the home eating the remainder of the fish. The crisis intervention team arrived with five large size men in white with a straight jacket and some type of injection. They approached him and he tussled with them for a while. It took them about five or 10 minutes to subdue him and put him in the straight-jacket. It should have been what could have happened to Levall Hall too, by a professional mental health crisis  team to assist.

Aren’t our police hired to serve and protect everyone without having to harm anyone unless absolutely necessary? What has happened to our Crisis Intervention team service today? Police should not have been the first help to arrive on the scene for a crisis situation like that of Levall Hall. If crisis intervention service is still in operation, then why did the police not call for their professional mental health assistance with that type of emergency situation? Police should have been there only to oversee preventing anyone from potential danger or harm, including that of the patient.

I would like to see the same type of mental health Crisis Intervention Team on the scene whenever there is the need for professional mental health assistance.

We should still have that service today along with more law enforcement sensitive training to protect all of the persons in a mental health crisis situation. It was much safer in the past with specially trained personnel. They knew precisely how to subdue a patient without harm to that patient or anyone else. They would use injections instead of guns. Wouldn’t you agree with that?


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