Body Cam Shows Multiple Cops Shoot a Mentally Ill Man for Holding Knives

Matt Agorist | The Free Thought Project

Baltimore, MD — For the first time since the Baltimore Police Department was equipped with 600 body cameras, they have released a video. In the graphic footage, Baltimore police officers are seen shooting a mentally ill man who appeared to pose no threat to officers at the time.

On Wednesday, police officials released the video and 911 call which led to the shooting of the unnamed mentally ill man. Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis noted that he released the video because he’d rather deal with criticism over how the police handled the situation rather than the criticism the department would face had they not released it.

“With transparency comes responsibility and it’s our responsibility, we believe, to share it with our community,” Davis said. “We believe it is making us better as an agency. We believe it is improving police-community relations and accountability.”

Following a 9-1-1 call about a mentally ill man on the street beating his cane against a pole, multiple officers responded. Only moments passed before the man would be shot.

During the 9-1-1 call, the dispatcher specifically asked the caller if the man was threatening people with knives, to which the caller responded, “no,” and only noted that the man had knives.

When police arrived, however, it appears that they escalated the situation rather than attempt to de-escalate.

Screaming at a person with a mental illness is not only futile, it only serves to further confuse, frighten, and provoke said person — especially if that person is schizophrenic.

So, instead of calming down and talking with the man, the officers in the video just barked orders.

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