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Policing mental health: Recent deaths highlight concerns over ...

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Washington Post
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Seton Hall University
Annals of Epidemiology
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Walter Wallace
Ricardo Muñoz
Angelo Quinto
Angela Kimball
Tammany Brooks
Maria Quinto-Collins
Heather Adams
Rulennis Muñoz
Walter Wallace Jr.
Anthony Fitzhugh
Shaka Johnson
Tom Shea
recovery."Minyvonne Burke


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New Jersey
Lancaster County District
South Orange

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The New York Times
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Quinto "became lifeless" and was taken to a hospital, where he died Dec. 26.Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks has denied that officers used a knee or anything else to put pressure on his neck.Quinto's mother, Maria Quinto-Collins, told reporters that police handling of the situation was "absolutely unnecessary.""I trusted the police, because I thought they knew what they were doing, but he was actually passive and visibly not dangerous or a threat," she said at a news conference in February.Lancaster, Pennsylvania, police fatally shot Ricardo Muñoz in September after his sister called for help, saying he had become aggressive.In the audio of a 911 call played at a news conference, Muñoz's sister told the dispatcher that he was schizophrenic and bipolar and asked that officials take him to a hospital.When an officer arrived at the home, Muñoz exited with what authorities described as a hunting knife.Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams said at a news conference that Muñoz "immediately, and without warning, charged the officer." The officer "ran for his life" and fired 4 seconds later, killing Muñoz.The officer was cleared; Adams said he responded as he had been trained and met "deadly force with deadly force."Muñoz's sister has questioned why police did not have a different standard for people suffering mental health crises."The right person should have been there," Rulennis Muñoz has said. "A badge and gun should not be the first one to address a nonviolent mental health crisis call."Rios and his colleague Tom Shea, a former police officer who is director of the Police Graduate Studies Program, are trying to counter that by working with communities on 911 divergence so that in nonviolent situations, people can call mental health professionals before they call police.Rios said they will provide community-based training in deconstructing stigmas."Oftentimes what happens is our own implicit bias says that if there's a Black man who's in distress or in crisis, he must be on drugs, versus a white person who is in distress or in crisis needs help," he said.

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