Back to Rights for Imprisoned People with Psychiatric Disabilities

Mental Illness is not a Crime! Community Crisis Intervention Teams, nows the time!

Join Us Tuesday at 3:00pm for a press conference at 1 police plaza
New York. To demand an end to these senseless lost of life due to NYPD lack of training and refusal to implement these trainings.

As community members and activists, we are outraged by yet another instance of police brutality against a person with mental illness. On March 15, 2012 Shereese Francis, of Jamaica, Queens, died in her home, while in the custody of 4 unidentified NYPD officers. This incident draws attention to the blatant misconduct exercised by police when responding to mental health crisis calls and highlights the lack of understanding and compassion of the New York City Police Department. From our own experience, we know that police are not properly trained and rarely have the compassion to work with people with psychiatric disabilities. This incident only heightens our awareness of this.

Rather than explore real solutions such as Community Crisis Intervention Teams, the NYPD would rather promote the use of “Emergency Assistance Units” a front to try and calm our angry community. The implementation of Community Intervention Teams would allow for real progress and would result in less deaths. Community Intervention Teams allow police officers, with specialized training, to better respond to mental health emergency calls. Most importantly they include independent oversight by community residents, mental health workers and people who have mental illness.

We are tired of people with mental illness being brutalized and killed by the NYPD. And we are tired of this brutality being justified as proper response to someone who is unfairly stigmatized as “crazed and dangerous”. How many more deaths with it take? Join us for a press conference on Tuesday at 3PM as we publicly call out Deputy Inspector Miltiadis Marmara of the 113rd Precinct as well as Commissioner Kelly. We demand that the New York Police Department take immediate action to implement Community Intervention Teams to prevent further unnecessary brutality and death.

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