The Chicago shootings and why so many police calls involving the mentally ill end in death

The story repeats itself with grim consistency all over the country.

A distraught family member, unable to calm a loved one in the throes of a psychotic or suicidal episode, calls police, desperate for help.

Officers arrive, tensions quickly flare, guns are drawn, people panic — and a troubled life is extinguished, sometimes within seconds.

Later, family members — people such as Shirley Marshall — are left to sort through the aftermath, stricken by the feeling that their plea for help precipitated their relative’s death. Marshall’s son, Jason Harrison, a black man with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, was killed last year by Dallas police after he refused to put down a screwdriver.

– The Washington Post

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