Americans With Mental Illnesses: A Different Standard Of Justice?

Americans With Mental Illnesses: A Different Standard Of Justice?

By Pete Earley

Example 1: Rainey, an inmate with schizophrenia, died inside that shower. He was found crumpled on the floor. When his body was pulled out, nurses said burns covered 90 percent of his body. A nurse said his body temperature was too high to register with a thermometer. And his skin fell off at the touch.

(No criminal charges filed)

Example 2: In Virginia, Jamycheal Mitchell, a 24-year-old African American who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, was arrested in April 2015 for stealing $5.05 worth of candy and soda from a convenience store. He was transferred to the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in May, where he was found dead in his cell three months later.

Court papers say guards left Mitchell in the freezing cell while gradually phasing out his supplies of food, water and medications. He slept naked night after night on a metal sheet, lost up to 50 pounds, smeared feces on the wall and saw his feet and legs swelling.

“Many times following the abuse, Mitchell could be heard crying from his cell,” the suit says.

Other inmates became so concerned for his well-being that they begged officers to treat him, the suit says. But several guards dismissed the concerns, saying Mitchell’s anguish was no bother “as long as he does not die on my watch,” the suit says.

(No criminal charges filed)

Example 3: Consider the beating death of Kelly Thomas, a 37 year-old homeless man diagnosed with schizophrenia, who lived on the streets of Fullerton, California. He was beaten unconscious by members of the Fullerton Police Department, on July 5, 2011 for not following a command. An autopsy showed the bones in his face were broken and he choked on his own blood after police compressed his thorax, making it impossible for him to breath.

On security video of the incident, one officer could be heard saying, “Now you see my fists?” while slipping on a pair of latex gloves.

“Yeah, what about them?” Thomas responded.

“They are getting ready to fuck you up.”

(Incredibly, jurors found two of the officers not guilty. After that, prosecutors dropped their third case. An attorney for one told reporters that the police officers were “simply doing their jobs.”)

Full article here:

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