Man called suicide prevention hotline because he was feeling suicidal. They sent a SWAT team who shot and killed the man seven hours later.
This is the creepiest, most Orwellian video monologue I have ever seen. It is like a combination of Monte Python’s “The Meaning of Life, and Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil.” Except it is all too real!
Wow. The Detective actually exhorts people to use the suicide hotline even while acknowledging that it, uh, backfired for this man. “We encourage those having suicidal thoughts or tendencies to contact a physician or expert that can talk them through it. In this particular case he attempted to do that — it’s unfortunate and sad that it failed.”
Yes, it is unfortunate and sad. Just like it is creepy and nauseating that you would have the temerity to advertise for the hotline while the body of a caller is still getting to room temperature.
Perhaps there is some story that will justify this, but I doubt it. The Free Thought Project summarizes some recent history:
From previous cases, such as that of Jason Turk, who was shot twice in the face after a suicide call to 9-1-1 by his wife, or that of Christian Alberto Sierra, who was suffering from depression and had attempted suicide when police showed up and shot him four times, killing him, most know all too well what happens when you send officers to “assist” people threatening suicide.
Subsequently, a SWAT team came to the residence and “negotiated” with Calzada for more than seven hours before taking his life.
So why send the police at all? Seriously, how is this situation any better than simply not having a suicide hotline and not having a police force. What worse outcome is likely? (Yes, you can imagine anything being possible, but I’m asking what is likely.)
For all we know, this man might have recovered if he had never called the hotline.
Specifics of the case were not released but Gwynn was sure to explain the cop logic of reasonableness stating, “Officers are authorized to stop a threat whenever their life is threatened, or the life of another is threatened. And at that point if the officer feels he is justified, he may act to stop that threat.”
So cops are authorized to insert themselves into other people’s lives and, if they feel threatened in those circumstances where they have presumed to insert themselves, to kill the person they were sent to help.
This is not a reasonable way for police to work in a free country.