Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cop Murders: Blame the System

Some blame the president, New York's mayor, the protesters, and even the black men and boys who were murdered by the police and vigilantes. We should blame the broken mental health system for Ismaaiyl Brinsley shooting his girlfriend, two police officers, then himself. Condolences to all grieving families.

Brinsley had been arrested numerous times and was recognized to have mental illness. Tragedies can be avoided when troubled inmates are released only under programs that include mental health treatment. We
 can help New York State prisoners with mental illness get better discharge plans by supporting S7818/ A10071 "The Prisoners Mental Health Discharge and Planning Bill.”

The bill passed the New York State Assembly and Senate, but Gov. Cuomo has to sign it for it to become law. The bill makes sure prisoners with mental illness who are being released are given a discharge plan, an appointment with a community program, and enough medications to last until the appointment. It also adds parole officials to the list of people who can refer someone with a mental illness to a hospital for evaluation. This will help reduce reincarceration, says mental health expert, Dj Jaffe, director of the Mental Illness Policy Organization.

Ismaaiyl Brinsley's face is not the one that should be applied to the nation's righteous protests against police violence. Hundreds of dead men and boys and thousands of nonviolent protesters of all races who stand together and say "All lives matter" should remain the focus of the movement for greater police accountability. 

More than half the victims of police violence are mentally ill people like my brother Larry Neal was when he was secretly arrested for 18 days and murdered while in Shelby County Jail in Memphis, Tennessee (see the website below). Even as we mourn the loss of police officers and hundreds of citizens killed in police-related incidents, Milwaukee alerted the National Guard prior to releasing the indictment decision for another mentally ill man who was slain by police. The Free Thought Project reports "Protests have intensified in Milwaukee as the community anxiously awaits the district attorney’s decision on whether or not to indict a former officer Christopher Manney who shot Dontre Hamilton 14 times, including once in the back, on April 30."  Read more >> http://bit.ly/1AXue7h (See the full link below).

Clearly, unjustifiable deadly force by police is a major problem in the United States that must be exposed and opposed for the sake of the lives that should not have been taken and the continued peace in our society. The appropriate response is not cop killings such as those done by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a mentally ill man. And blaming politicians and community organizers for protests against the lack of police accountability will not resolve the problem. This is the time for our officials over government to take bold, decisive action to protect the lives of everyone who is at risk because of overzealous policing. Suggestions are:

1) All police officers should undergo psychological evaluations, drug testing, and thorough background checks before hiring. Maintain a database on all police officers who were terminated because of inappropriate conduct. Police officers who have been fired because of substantiated complaints by citizens citing harassment and overuse of force should be ineligible for rehire by any other police department or in any capacity that requires the personnel to carry a firearm.

2) Conduct unscheduled drug testing for police departments periodically, and test every officer immediately after his/her involvement in violent incidents. Steroids cause brain damage and aggression, and should be included in the drug tests for police officers.

3) Hold police officers accountable to the same standards that prosecutors would apply to other citizens when they become criminal suspects. Police officers who become criminal defendants should pay for their legal defense using their own personal resources or use public defenders. In no case should police defendants' legal defense fund include taxpayers' funds beyond the monies already appropriated to make public defenders available to defendants who cannot afford an attorney.

4) The U.S. Congress passed a bill requiring an accurate count of all people in America who are killed by police and who die in custody, regardless of the cause of death. The data reported will include the name, age, race, and gender of each victim, and information about the death. Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill (AIMI) holds that an additional category must be whether or not the victim had a documented diagnosis of mental illness and/or history of substance abuse. It has been stated that the database will be used to assess information on race-based killings. The government not only has the responsibility to protect Americans of diverse races but also a responsibility to protect Americans with mental disabilities, which has been largely overlooked. Therefore, the bill for data collection from police departments should be amended to add an entry for mental illness before the president signs it into law.

5) To reduce the violence to and by mentally ill Americans, the nation should immediately fund assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) programs for all mentally ill inmates or hospital patients before their releases. The U.S. Congress should pass H.R.3717 "Helping Family in Mental Health Crisis Act," which has a pilot program for AOT programs as well as other provisions that would help repair America's broken mental health system.

6) When police kill, should they judge themselves? Gov. Scott Walker (Wisconsin) answered with a resounding "no," signing into law a bill that requires outside investigation when people die in police custody — the first of its kind in the nation. This should become a federal law. (See a link to the news story from Wisconsin below).

In addition to the black boys and men, police also killed numerous black women. Some of their photographs are shown below. 

Immediate measures must be enacted to prevent the United States of America from falling into anarchy. Citizens cannot be expected to tolerate the continued police killings of unarmed people who are black and brown or whites who lack wealth, and the lives of the nations' most vulnerable people (the homeless and the mentally ill) must be protected. Unless the government's aim is Martial Law, changes must be made with haste to ensure that all deaths are met with due process of law - not by government cover-ups, excuses, and ignoring laws against murder if prosecution against police and corrections officers is warranted. No amount of criticism by the police union against protesters, officials, and community organizers will suffice to repair the growing breach between police departments and the citizenry they are paid by taxpayers to protect. 


America must fully honor the U.S. Constitution and the International Declaration of Human Rights for the sake of its domestic security. On Sunday, December 21, 2014, "Human Rights Demand" on Blogtalkradio featured an interview with Windy Hempstead, whose brother Harold Hempstead reported the murder of Darren Rainey. Rainey was killed in Dade Correctional Institution in Florida in 2012 (see the link to the show below). Two years later, Rainey's murder by scalding in a small shower had not been investigated, and the corrections officers responsible had not been disciplined in any way. The Hempsteads then took the story about Rainey to the Miami Herald, which reported the news, unlike mainstream media companies I contacted about Larry Neal's murder, which was also ignored by all government authorities. 

Even today, almost three years after Rainey's torturous death, the medical examiner has not filed an autopsy report, and nobody has been charged with Rainey's killing. The jail and USDOJ refuse to release information about Larry Neal's murder eleven years later. Unrequitted murders say "Black lives don't matter," and the public disagrees, as it is their moral duty to do so.

If the U.S. Government is as inept at protecting the human and civil rights of minorities and Americans with mental illness as it appears to be, surely we need help from other countries and the United Nations. Demonstrations against unrequited police violence were held in diverse countries throughout the world when officers involved in the wrongful deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown were not indicted. Brown's family traveled to Geneva to the United Nations and cried out for assistance making the United States honor its obligation to uphold equal justice for all. U.S. protesters also spoke at the United Nations to say "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" and "I Can't Breathe." 

AIMI plans an action in International Court in 2015 to protect the rights of Americans with mental illness. AIMI will bundle up to 100 cases detailing neglect, police brutality, systemic torture in custody (including solitary confinement), and unrequited deaths of mental patients and drug/alcohol addicts as well as their victims. The cases will be represented by an international human rights lawyer in a civil action for recovery of damages for the victims or their survivors. AIMI will also present a list of recommended changes that we hope the United Nations will mandate for its member state, the USA, to prevent more loss of innocent lives and avoid disruption of peace in this country where continued police murders and deaths in custody threaten the entire social structure. See information at the "AIMI - Human Rights" blog at the link below.

Here are a few ways you can help:

1) Please call 518-474-4246 and ask to speak to Larry Schwartz. If the operator asks you what you want, say “I want Governor Cuomo to sign S7818/ A10071 "The Prisoners Mental Health Discharge and Planning Bill.” Your call may be transferred elsewhere. If so, repeat the same message.

2) Ask your U.S. congressional representatives to pass H.R.3717 "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Ac http://www.usa.gov/Agencies.shtml

3) Sign this petition: "We Demand National Change to Protect Citizens and Communities from Police Violence and Misconduct" (it presently has 743,113 signatures).

4) Sign this petition: "Investigate the 2012 death of Mr. Darren Rainey, a mentally ill Florida prisoner who died after prison guards locked him into a 180-degree shower" (it presently has 204,895 supporters)

The face of Ismaaiyl Brinsley is not the correct icon for the People's opposition to police violence. Protesters condemn his actions. Brinsley was merely another mentally ill man who lacked the psychiatric treatment that he needed and deserved. In fact, his mental disability leads to the deaths of hundreds of Americans' deaths annually, killed on our streets and in custody. The struggle for police accountability is better depicted by the posters in this blog showing men, women, and children who were killed and thousands of nonviolent protesters in the video and photographs below.

"I still hear my brother crying ‘I can’t breathe’
Now I’m in the struggle and saying 'I can’t leave'
Calling out the violence of these racist police
We ain’t gonna stop till people are free
We ain’t gonna stop till people are free"
This song was sung at a protest march seeking justice for Eric Garner and other victims of police violence, Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, December 4, 2014.

Die-in, representing the 4.5 hours Michael Brown's body lay in the Ferguson street and the dead body of Eric Garner on a New York City sidewalk after being choked to death.

Hands Up! Don't Shoot!

AIMI members hope that all government officials follow Gov. Walker's lead and apply corrective measures to overuse of force incidents and deaths in custody that threaten peace in our society. 

Problems are caused by the system which refuses to police the police and acknowledge that all lives matter, not by protesters who cannot breathe in such a system.

Five (5) References:
Grand Jury Refuses to Indict former officer Christopher Manney who shot Dontre Hamilton

"Human Rights Demand" interview with Windy Hempstead regarding Darren Rainey's Murder

Secret Arrest and Wrongful Death of Larry Neal

Protesters sing "I Can't Breathe" on Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, December 4, 2014

CONDOLENCES to the families and friends of all people whose lives were taken in acts of violence. We solute government officials and protesters who continue to work for positive changes in the system.

Thank you for giving Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill.

It would be illegal to keep a dog in a tight space 23 hours a day and gas or Taser him for barking. It would be illegal to put a dog in deadly restraint for control. That happens to mentally ill people routinely in the nation's correctional facilities. What happened to Larry Neal? Why are we still asking that question after eleven years?

Mentally Ill Americans Need Dog Justice. Treat mental illness medically, not legally. Support the H.R. 3717 "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act."

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

No Indictment for Ethan Saylor's Homicide

A Maryland grand jury refused to indict police officers responsible for the death of Ethan Saylor, a 26-year-old man with Down Syndrome, who was killed inside a movie theater in January 2013 while wearing police handcuffs. The official cause of death was ruled a homicide by asphyxiation. An autopsy revealed that Saylor suffered a fractured throat cartilage, which one expert says could only have been caused by force of some kind. Force could have included a direct blow or manual strangulation.

The Maryland grand jury's refusal to indict Saylor's killers comes on the heels of two other highly contested grand jury decisions regarding the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York. Eric Garner died as a result of an illegal choke hold, which might have also been used to kill Saylor.

Alternative Media Syndicate.com reports, "Because of Saylor's large size, the officers say they had to use three sets of handcuffs on him and placed him on his stomach for 'one to two minutes' ... Just as in the case of Eric Garner, the police have said that being obese 'contributed' to Saylor’s death, making him 'more susceptible to breathing problems.'"

The lives of mentally dysfunctional Caucasians like Kelly Thomas and Ethan Saylor seem to receive no more protection than do the lives of African Americans. Saylor refused to leave the theater after the conclusion of a movie he was taken to see by his caretaker. When she explained to the theater staff that they did not have the fare to watch "Zero Dark Thirty” a second time, police were called. The fare for most movies is less than $10. Black people, like our mentally ill citizens, are killed for tiny sums. See Kenneth Harding's death by San Francisco police officers who asked him to prove he had paid the $2 train fare. The shooting is on the video below and at http://youtu.be/qE8iLrqWpwA

Thousands of protesters feel that police officers need reminding that black lives matter. The lives of mentally challenged Americans also matter. People in these two groups comprise the overwhelming majority of the nation's police-involved casualties, including avoidable deaths. It is impossible to give an exact count of how many Americans with mental disabilities or African Americans die at the hands of police officers each year, because police seem not to have any reporting responsibilities in that regard. We do know it is a significant number. For instance, seven people were shot dead by police in Florida within eight days in November 2014. Florida would have killed eight, except police missed when shooting at an unarmed African American father who was trying to get his daughter home for her asthma treatment (see the AntiMedia link below). If one citizen per day is killed in all 50 states, the total deaths are 18,250 annually (without counting inmates killed by corrections officers).

It seems that countries that disregard the right to life for mentally challenged people eventually do the same for minorities. More than 300,000 mentally challenged individuals of all races were isolated and killed in Nazi Germany before that nation began its ethnic cleansing and killed millions of Jews and blacks. In the USA, approximately 1.25 million mentally challenged people are isolated in prisons and jails (comprising over 60 percent of inmates in solitary confinement). Deaths of mentally ill Americans are quite common during their imprisonment.

More information about Ethan Saylor case is available at the first two articles below. 
Ethan Saylor's parent's reaction to the grand jury's decision not to indict the police officers who killed their son is in this article:
Grand Jury Refuses To Indict Cops Who Killed Man With Down Syndrome Who Wouldn’t Leave Movie.
More about Saylor's ordeal in the theater and his final words are at this article:
"Police murder Ethan Saylor, Down Syndrome Victim"

Florida Police Killed Seven People in Eight Days in November 2014


Thank you for giving Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill.

It would be illegal to keep a dog in a tight space 23 hours a day and gas or Taser him for barking. It would be illegal to put a dog in deadly restraint for control. That happens to mentally ill people routinely in the nation's correctional facilities. What happened to Larry Neal?

Mentally Ill Americans Need Dog Justice. Treat mental illness medically, not legally. Support the H.R. 3717 "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act."

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Scott Panetti, TX Cowboy: Execution Dec. 3

One of our Americans with mental disabilities is scheduled to be executed on December 3, 2014. Scott Panetti's sentence should be commuted because he is very sick, plus he had ineffectual counsel - himself.

Does the United States justice system find mental illness entertaining? Do officials over justice consider it funny to kill mentally disabled citizens? Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty shared a video exposing the trial of Scott Panetti, who was charged with murdering his in-laws on September 8, 1992. The court allowed this untreated man who suffered from severe paranoid schizophrenia to conduct his own defense wearing a cowboy outfit and be sentenced to death.

Panetti's father expressed a loss of faith in the justice system after watching his very sick son try to defend himself. He expected Judge Steven Ables to stop the trial when it was obvious how unprepared Panetti was, but Judge Ables allowed the trial to continue to the end. Perhaps Edith Jones is not the only judge in America who believes that a death sentence provides a public service by allowing an inmate to "make peace with God." See the video below and at YouTube link http://youtu.be/0WTn78SIRvc . News and viewpoints are censored regarding how America mistreats its acute mentally ill citizens.

December 3, 2014 UPDATE: The video is embedded below and now available on YouTube at the link, 

The United Nations requests that the United States commute Panetti's sentence based on human decency and the Convention Against Torture. 

Original text resumes: Panetti's appeals have been denied since he was sentenced to execution. Some judges have disdain for defendants who are mentally ill. The Austin Chronicle reports that Justice Edith Jones, who sits on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals – based in New Orleans, its jurisdiction includes Texas – made numerous offensive and biased comments during a February lecture at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, according to the complaint filed pursuant to the federal Judicial Conduct and Disability Act. She told law students and other attendees that she thought the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling outlawing the death penalty for the mentally retarded did intellectually disabled individuals a disservice, and that to create such an exemption from execution was a "slippery slope," reads the complaint.

"In describing … what Judge Jones said about these cases, I am not able to capture the complete outrage she expressed over the crimes or the disgust she evinced over the defense raised, particularly by the defendants who claimed to be mentally retarded," reads the declaration, filed with the complaint, of veteran Pennsylvania-based death penalty attorney Marc Bookman, who attended the lecture. "Judge Jones's disgust at how these defendants were 'using mental retardation' was very evident and very disconcerting," reads the complaint. Austin Chronicle Report on Judith Jones

An excerpt from Yahoo Voices described the Panetti trial: "Dressed in costume like one of the actors in an old Western Movie, with a big brimmed cowboy hat hanging on his shoulders by the strap, plaid shirt, bandanna, fancy cowboy boots, and spurs, Scott Panetti proceeded to defend himself, playing out the role of lawyer. The prevailing judge, Ables allowed his court to be turned into a three ring circus as jurors watched, stunned at what they were seeing and hearing, some fearing the man they watched before them."

An attorney who was called by Panetti as a witness shared his observations, stating: “The courtroom had the atmosphere of a circus. The judge just seemed to let Scott run free with his irrational questions and courtroom antics.”

Panetti's ex-wife, whose parents were killed, does not feel that Panetti should die for his crime that resulted from untreated mental illness. And obviously, nobody should defend himself in a capital murder case, especially not a paranoid schizophrenic man dressed as a cowboy. Panetti's trial was an outrageous exercise that has probably provided justice officials many laughs for over 20 years while Scott Panetti awaits the needle on death row in Texas.

Homelessness, prison and death must discontinue being America's answer to acute mental illness. Nobody deserves execution for having a health crisis. 

UPDATE: Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill (AIMI) plans to take the wrongful execution of Scott Panetti (if he is killed) along with the wrongful internment of mentally ill Americans on death row in Texas (including Jeff Wood and Andre Thomas as well as Panetti) before the International Court in 2015. This is an outrage. Visit our website and join conversations on the first weekend of each month about protecting the human rights of mentally ill Americans in International Court at http://AIMI-HumanRights.blogspot.com

Two homeless men were shot to death in Atlanta by an unidentified killer while they slept during Thanksgiving week 2014. Three New Mexico teens were charged with beating homeless people to death in Albuquerque in July 2014. The homeless are not always mentally ill, but people with psychiatric conditions are over-represented among the chronically homeless. Americans should demand that our legal system not act like those sick killers.

This article was first published in the Davis-MacPhail Truth Committee blog at 

You are URGED to fax, email, and tweet Gov. Rick Perry and object at @TexGov. He is a Christian, so please remind him about Psalm 102:19-20, Hebrews 13:3, Matthew 25:31-46, and Proverbs 31:8-9 (KJV). 

Thank you for giving Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill.
Anti-DP articles are the most censored news that this writer publishes. Therefore, please be aware that there should be eight(8) live links above. It would be illegal to keep a dog in a tight space 23 hours a day and gas or Taser him for barking. It would be illegal to put a dog in deadly restraint for control. That happens to mentally ill people routinely in the nation's correctional facilities. What happened to Larry Neal?
Mentally Ill Americans Need Dog Justice. Treat mental illness medically, not legally. Support the H.R. 3717 "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act."