It is a narrative that has become far too common in America. A suicidal, mentally ill person will either contact police, or his concerned family will do so for him, and rather than attempting to de-escalate the situation and save the person’s life, police too often bust in and murder the individual.
This was the case for veteran Kyle Cardenas of Arizona who served two tours in Iraq and as a result, suffered crippling PTSD.
When Cardenas was experiencing a particularly difficult episode in relation to his illness, his concerned family called a VA crisis hotline and let them know that they were asking for help to save Kyle. They didn’t want police, they said, they wanted a crisis team. They apparently knew how little compassion and training on special circumstances like Cardenas’s that the police had.
Nevertheless, a team of thuggish officers arrived on the scene and used every method they had available to beat and restrain the vet. This is a statement from the family on the clash:
“The police charged into this bedroom … and attempted to restrain Kyle again. During the melee, the officers Tased Kyle at least seven times, sprayed OC spray directly into Kyle’s face, struck Kyle multiple times with their batons, punched Kyle in the face with closed fists, kicked and kneed Kyle in the thighs and legs, and ordered one of the K-9 unit dogs to attack and bite Kyle.”
But that was apparently not enough for these cops who were either too blinded by power or pure incompetence to feel that they had the situation under control. Even as Cardenas lay immobilized on a hospital gurney, an officer felt it was appropriate to Taser the man again, temporarily stopping his heart.
The violent cops defended their actions by saying that Cardenas was acting violently and resisting, which would make sense to the cops if they knew anything about PTSD or trauma. This is why police officers need to have much more vigorous testing and training before they are allowed to carry a gun and threaten the lives of American citizens.
It is not as simple as resist or comply, no matter what a pro-cop advocate will say. People like Cardenas deserve to be properly cared for when his family reaches out to the VA, and cops should not be so free and willing to attack a person over and over again.