Warning: Graphic video.
Video recently released shows a mentally ill man being shot to death, after his mother called the police to help her clam him down.
38-year-old schizophrenia sufferer Jason Harrison was killed last year by police within 30 seconds of them knocking on his front door.
Harrison’s mother called the cops because her son had harmed himself and was in need of medical attention.
When the police arrived at the scene in Dallas, Harrison’s mother opened the door and told the police officers that her son was “just off the chain.”
He’s “bipolar and schizo,” she informed the officers.
Harrison emerged from the house twiddling a screwdriver in his hands and asking “who’s there?”
The cops immediately pointed guns at him and demanded that he drop the tool. The officers then say that Harrison “lunged” at them and so they shot him multiple times.
The video, taken from police body cam footage, does not appear to show Harrison lunging at the officers.
One of the officers is heard saying: “He was in the doorway. He had a screwdriver. We had this behind us and we had to shoot.”
The footage was made public by Geoff Henley, attorney for the family, who told reporters that the footage highlights how ill prepared cops are for dealing with mentally ill people who need medical help.
“When you’re dealing with somebody who is mentally ill, you’re not supposed to agitate,” Henley said. “You’re not supposed to move fast… you’re not supposed to inflame.”
David Harrison, the brother of the victim added “They didn’t acknowledge him… they just acknowledged the screwdriver. As soon as [my mother] got out of the way, [the officers said] ‘I need you to put that down, sir!’ It went from zero to 100.”
It is unclear why the officers did not opt to use tasers, which can be seen holstered in the video. The officers remain on active duty, and the case is yet to be heard by a grand jury.
The family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against two officers, claiming that they violated Harrison’s civil rights.
Unfortunately this is not an isolated case. There are regular accounts of police resorting to deadly force when encountering mentally disturbed or challenging individuals. Experts have expressed concern that cops are simply not trained to deal with such situations.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.