Tanisha Anderson was a 37-year-old woman with psychiatric disabilities who lived in Cleveland, Ohio. On November 13, 2014, Tanisha’s family called 911 when she was having a psychiatric emergency. The police arrived instead of an ambulance. The police slammed her to the ground, handcuffed, and put her in a position where she could not breathe. An ambulance was not called until 45 minutes later. Tanisha died at the hospital. Her family has filed suit against the police department. A grand jury failed to indict the police officers. Internally, the Cleveland police department suspended one officer, Scott Aldridge, for ten days without pay and give another police officer, Bryan Myers, a written warning.
James Matthew Boyd was a 38-year old man with schizophrenia who lived in Albuquerque. The police were called on him for illegal camping because he was homeless. Instead of just telling James to leave, officer John McDaniel called 40 police officers as a backup when James resisted being patted down. James tried to surrender to the police but another officer boasted he would shoot “this fucking lunatic.” They shot him several times and has a dog rip up his legs. After roughly 20 minutes, Boyd was transported in an ambulance to the University of New Mexico hospital. In the final hours of his life, Boyd had his right arm amputated and his spleen, a section of his lung and a length of his intestines removed. At 2:55 a.m., he was pronounced dead. Charges were filed against two of the officers, Dominique Perez and Keith Sandy which resulted in mistrials. Sandy retired from the police, but Perez was fired. However, he successfully fought his termination, was reinstated and was awarded $143,159 in backpay.
Michelle Cusseaux was a 50-year old woman with psychiatric disabilities who lived in Phoenix, Arizona. In August 2014, police were sent to Michelle’s home on a court-ordered mental health pick up. When Michelle would not open the door, the police forced their way in. Police officer Percy Dupra shot her claiming he felt threatened by the fact she was holding a hammer. The police found the shooting to be outside department policy. However, the DA refused to file charges against the police officers.
Randal Dunklin (San Francisco). Randal Dunklin was a homeless man who used a wheelchair and who has psychiatric disabilities. One day he was carrying a knife in 2011, and was surrounded by police who ordered him to drop the knife. He attempted to raise his hands to show he was complying with police officers, and was shot by the police. He survived his injuries.
Dontre Hamilton was a 31-year old man who lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He had schizophrenia and other psychiatric disabilities. On April 30, 2014, Dontre was sleeping in a park, causing no disturbance. Police officer Christopher Manney starting frisking him with no probable cause. When Dontre became startled, Officer Manney shot him 14 times and killed him. Manney was not prosecuted for this murder, but he was fired. He has applied for disability, claiming he has post-traumatic stress disorder. The family of Dontre Hamilton reached a 2.3 million settlement against the city of Milwaukee. In response to this murder, the Milwaukee police changed its policies to require all officers to receive Crisis Intervention Team trainings and to wear body cameras.
Jason Harrison was a 39-year-old man with psychiatric disabilities who lived in Dallas. On June 14, 2014, his mother called 911 hoping a mental health team could assist her with her son. However, the police arrived, and when they say Jason had a screwdriver, they shot and killed him. A grand jury refused to indict the police officers involved. The family has filed a lawsuit against the police department.
Denise Harris (Dayton, OH: 2008) is blind woman who also has cancer. On July 7, 2008, the police arrived at her house asking for her son. The police office grabbed Harris, threw her onto a futon, pulled at her clothes, and tasered her. Only after she was tasered did he realize she was blind. Harris was charged with resisting arrest.
Anthony Hill was a 27-year-old Air Force veteran who embraced the fact that he was bipolar. In his twitter account, he stated “I am thankful to be something other than normal,” it says. “I don’t fight my circumstance, I embrace it. I love myself. Always #IamBipolar. In March 2015, Hill was having troubles with his medication. He was jumping off his balcony in Chamblee, Georgia repeatedly while naked. Neighbors called 911 to get medical attention. However, the police were dispatched to the scene instead. Although Hill was unarmed, the police officer Robert Olsen shot and killed him. Olsen had a taser and pepper spray at his disposal but chose to shoot Hill instead. Olsen was indicted on two counts of murder one count of aggravated assault. The trial has not yet begun.
Jesse Kersey (Dayton, OH) is a 17-year-old young man with developmental disabilities. Jesse was riding his bike when a police officer saw Jesse and tried to speak with him. When Jesse spoke, the officer could not understand him. Jesse rode home to get his mom to translate for him. The officer thought Jesse was being disrespected and started chasing after him. The officer met up with another officer and called backup to subdue Jesse. Jesse ran to his mom and the officers shot a taser in his back. Twenty more officers arrived to subdue Jesse. The mother tried her best to protect her son but the officers began to beat him. After the officers cuffed Jesse they took him to court where he was charged with assaulting an officer and resisting arrest. The mother was charged with interfering with an arrest. The charges were dropped, and the family is suing the officers.
Christoper Lopez was man who was being held as a prisoner in the San Carlos Correctional Facility in Pueblo. He had schizophrenia and suffered from severe hyponatremia.
On March 17, 2013, a six-hour video documents that Lopez was practically comatose, was suffering from uncontrollable shaking, grand mal seizures and disturbed breathing while prison guards laughed and joked while he died. His mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility. Three of the employees involved were terminated.
Jody McIntyre (London, England) is a 20-year-old journalist with cerebral palsy. He participated in the student fee protests held in Central London in December 2010. During the protest, a police officer pulled him out of his wheelchair, dragged him onto the pavement, and beat him with the baton. McIntyre was unarmed. The Scotland Yard investigated the incident and deemed the actions of the officer “justifiable.”
Charlie McGillvary was a 45 year old man who had a developmental disability and a heart condition. In August 2011, Toronto police tackled him because they mistook him for another person who violated his bail conditions. His mother tried to intervene and let them know they had the wrong person but she was ignored. He went into cardiac arrest after being tackled but the police refused to perform CPR. He later died. The police were cleared of any wrongdoing.
Isadore Monroe was a 107-year-old man who lived in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He was partially deaf and blind. On September 7, 2013, his family tried to move him out of his home, but he did not want to leave. He got a gun and told his family to leave him alone. The police were called who brought in a SWAT team. Instead of waiting for him to sleep, the police tear gassed him and then shot him in the face. The family filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against the police and no one was punished for their role in his murder.
Jonathan Meister is deaf man who was at a friend’s house in Hawthorne, California, when the police wee called on him because he was mistakenly believed to be a thief. When the police arrived, he indicated to them he was deaf. However, the police refused to communicate with him properly and instead, they punched him the face repeatedly, shot him with a taser and beat him severely such that he had to be hospitalized. Charges against him were dropped. Jonathan settled a lawsuit against the police department for $55,000. The Department also said it would change its communication policies with deaf people.
Gilberto Powell is a man with Down’s syndrome who lives in Richmond Heights, Florida. On September 10, 2011, Gilberto, who was 22 at the time, was walking around when the police stopped him because he had a bulge in his waist band. They tried to pat him down, but when Gilberto resisted, they beat him severely. The bulge was simply his medical colostomy bag, which the police ripped from his body. His life was saved because his father saw the beating and ran out of the home to intervene. The police acknowledged in its report that Gilberto was not capable of responding to their commands but also claimed they couldn’t tell he had Down’s Syndrome. One of the officers involved, Fernando Villa, who had a long history of police violence and has been subject to at least 8 internal investigations. He was arrested later that year for being passed out intoxicated in his patrol car.
Kajieme Powell was a 25-year-oldman who had schizophrenia. He went to a store in St Lois, Missouri on August 20, 2014, where he grabbed some items and started pacing on the floor with a knife. The police were called. But even though one of the police officers was trained in crisis intervention, they shot and killed Kajieme rather than de-escalate the situation. None of the police officers was charged, but the family has filed a lawsuit against the Department.
Pearl Pearson is a 68-year -man that lives in Edmond Oklahoma. He is both mute and Deaf. In 2014, he was coming home from a meeting for Deaf peoples in Oklahoma City when a traffic cop stopped him and beat him up. He filed a lawsuit in 2015 and was awarded $175,000.
Jeanetta Riley was a 35-year-old Native American pregnant woman with psychiatric disabilities who lived in Northern Idaho. On July 8, 2014, she told her husband she was suicidal. He drove her to the hospital in Sandpoint, Idaho, and told hospital personnel she needed help. The police were called. Instead of descalating the situation, the police shot her five times and killed her. She elicted little public sympathy and the police department suffered no consequences for her murder. However, when police officers in nearby Coeur d’Alene shot a dog the next day, the dog’s death became a national campaign and the owner was awarded $80,00 for the dog’s death.
Robert Ethan Saylor
Robert Ethan Saylor (Frederick, MD) was a 26-year-old young man with Down’s syndrome. Ethan admired the police force so much that he’d dial 911 just to talk with them. One day, Ethan went to a Cinema movie theater with his aide to see Zero Dark Thirty. After the movie was over Ethan wanted to see it again and refused to leave the theater. The aide left to get the car ready when a employee approached Ethan and said he would have to buy another ticket or leave the theater. When Ethan, who was waiting for his aid, wouldn’t leave, theater security called the police. The manager called security and told them that some wouldn’t leave the theater. Four police offices dragged Ethan from theater, threw him face down to the ground, and all four sat on him. They handcuffed his arms behind his back so he could not breathe. By the time the police turned him over, Ethan was dead. The officers were not disciplined.
Teresa Sheehan is a woman with psychiatric disabilities who lives in San Francisco. In August 2008 when she was 56, police were called to involuntarily hospitalize her for a psychiatric evaluation. She did not want to leave and resisted being taken into custody. The police shot her several times, but she did survive. She sued the police department for failing to take her psychiatric disabilities into account during the arrest. Her case reached the Supreme Court, where the Court ruled against her.
Diana Showman was a 19-year old woman in San Jose, California who had psychiatric disabilities. On August 14, 2014, she was walking towards a police officer carrying a power drill. The police officer mistook it for a gun and shot and killed her. The prosecutors concluded that the police had acted in self-defense. The parents settled a lawsuit against the police department.