So here’s the pattern. The family of a person with psychiatric disability decides that they need help. The disabled person isn’t taking their medicine. They are perhaps seeming violent or might become violent. The family calls the police to ask for help getting the person to the hospital.
Police arrive. The person with the disability behaves in an unpredictable manner. The person with the disability behaves in a stubborn manner, not complying with orders the way a neurotypical person might. Police get violent. The person who the police were there to help dies or gets seriously hurt.
Add race to the equation, and the likelihood of that violence intensifies.
The newest victim of this pattern is Tanesha Anderson.
The Family calls for help:
Officers were called to the home after a family member reported that Anderson was disturbing the peace.
Patrolmen had lengthy discussions with Tanesha Anderson and members of her family. Everyone agreed she should undergo an evaluation at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, police said.
The police say:
As the officers escorted Anderson to the police vehicle, she began actively resisting the officers,” police spokesman Sgt. Ali Pillow said in a press release.
Officers placed her in handcuffs and she began to resist officers’ attempts to put her in a squad car, Pillow said.
“The woman began to kick at officers,” he said. “A short time later the woman stopped struggling and appeared to go limp. Officers found a faint pulse on the victim and immediately called EMS.”
Anderson’s brother says:
Two male officers escorted Tanesha Anderson, who was prescribed medication for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, to the police cruiser. She sat herself in the backseat but became nervous about the confined space and tried to get out, Anderson said.
Police struggled to keep her in the car and an officer eventually drew a Taser. Joell Anderson said he begged the officer not to use the weapon on his sister.
Tanesha Anderson called out for her brother and mother while an officer repeatedly pressed down on her head to get her into the backseat. After several attempts, the officer used a takedown move to force her to the pavement, Joell Anderson said.
The officer placed his knee on Tanesha Anderson’s back and handcuffed her. She never opened her eyes or spoke another word, her brother said.
Here’s the thing I want to emphasize: At no time was anyone in danger. At no time was Anderson a danger to herself or others. The police just decided that because she wasn’t complying, it was time to tackle her and she died. An accident, yes. The police didn’t intend for her to die.
They just intended to control her to the ground, and now she’s dead.