Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bloody Monday in CA

Not a good week in California if you need treatment but instead encounter police.

In Santa Rosa, officers responded to a 911 call from a woman who claimed her husband was firing shots into the ceiling of their home because he believed there was an intruder in the attic. The woman also told authorities her husband was bipolar and needed his medication. Officers opened fire on Richard DeSantis, who was killed in his driveway. His wife and 2 young children were home at the time.

In Van Nuys that same evening, John Eric Goudeaux ignored orders by police to drop his weapon, a 3-foot-metal bar, when they responded to a call that Goudeaux was holding his ex-wife hostage.

Goudeaux’ mother asked: "Why didn't they shoot him in the leg and take him to a mental hospital?" That is the same question posed by the family of Jason Paul Yule, killed by police in Sacramento the previous Saturday.

What could police do differently? We ask again … what could the mental health community have done differently? Why are people who are so ill allowed to keep deteriorating until the only action their family can take is to call 911?

If you live in one of these counties, consider putting pressure on your county supervisors to actually implement Laura’s Law – designed to get people help before they deteriorate.

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