A young millennial who has been stopped by the police is not responding in a way the officers would like. They may be non-responsive to their questions.
As a police officer moves to place handcuffs on the person, they resist the officer. One officer pulls their Taser.
Police brutality has happened in Colorado
Several police brutality incidents in Colorado have made state and national news. A person is stopped and the police attempt to detain them. The person tries to resist being arrested; they could be acting out in a way that suggests mental illness.
Currently, police officers do not receive very much mental health training — they do not know the signs of mental illness, such as non-responsiveness. So, they react, sometimes in ways that go against their training.
Situations where a co-responder can lower the risk of police brutality
Police misconduct takes place in several types of situations. Not understanding the situation, they use their training in ways that an investigation will show were improper. These police misconduct actions can include:
- False imprisonment — detaining someone without putting them in jail
- Using excessive force — using more physical force than needed
- Unlawful arrest — making an arrest without probable cause
A mental health professional can detect mental health issues where responding officers could miss them
In some states, police departments work using mobile crisis teams. These teams are made up of a police officer and mental health professional. Some calls to which the police respond need the intervention of a mental health professional rather than the use of force.
Other situations can be suicide attempts. The mental health professional uses their skills to defuse the situation. And the police department does not make the news.