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  1. #1
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    Default What Are the Police Procedures when Dealing with Suicidal Suspects

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: california

  2. #2

    Default Re: What Are the Police Procedures when Dealing with Suicidal Suspects

    Depends on the circumstances, methods, locations, history of the individual as known to police, whether weapons or hostages were involved, how long until the bomb goes off or the fistfull of medications takes effect, and about a million other possible factors - you'd have to narrow it down. But generally, the goal is to de-escalate the subject until they can be taken into protective custody in the safest manner possible for the suspect, the officers, bystanders, etc.
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

    Fave Big Bang Theory site: Sheldon Cooper Fans

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What Are the Police Procedures when Dealing with Suicidal Suspects

    Perhaps you can clarify what it is you want to know. Or, explain what happened in your tale and someone here can explain why the police might have done what they did.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What Are the Police Procedures when Dealing with Suicidal Suspects

    I had a friend who was apprehened or arrested for a drunk in public,resisting arrest ,evading an offcer, and assualting an officer. when he was in the back off the police car he told the officer he has thoughts and is thinking about killing himself,
    the police officer didnt believe him and took him off too jail. when he went to court his case got dimissed because of the officers refusal to comply are take the accusation seriouly. He told me they were supposed to take him to a mental institution by law, the other funny part is he got paid for it and he doesnt have any mental history

    how is this possible and what is the law code if so?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What Are the Police Procedures when Dealing with Suicidal Suspects

    You are no doubt speaking of a "mental health hold" or some such statute wording. It permits officers to take into custody to a hospital a person who may exhibit signs of such or danger to themselves. As far as I have ever seen any laws, it is NOT mandatory, but optional, sort of like a "protective custody" hold, no charges filed.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What Are the Police Procedures when Dealing with Suicidal Suspects

    Quote Quoting loekanle
    View Post
    I had a friend who was apprehened or arrested for a drunk in public,resisting arrest ,evading an offcer, and assualting an officer. when he was in the back off the police car he told the officer he has thoughts and is thinking about killing himself,
    the police officer didnt believe him and took him off too jail. when he went to court his case got dimissed because of the officers refusal to comply are take the accusation seriouly. He told me they were supposed to take him to a mental institution by law, the other funny part is he got paid for it and he doesnt have any mental history

    how is this possible and what is the law code if so?
    You almost certainly got only a truncated account of events. One does not get their charges dismissed because an officer refuses to take a threat of harm seriously. It does not happen - at least not in CA.

    The law does NOT require they take him to a mental health evaluation because he is having thoughts about killing himself. The law ALLOWS an officer to detain someone to permit a mental health evaluation, and it is a licensed clinician or psych. professional that will make a determination with regards to placement or not. The officer can only detain for an evaluation. If that means transporting to the local facility for the evaluation, to the jail or department to meet with the psych. worker, or to the hospital, depends on the local process.

    W&I 5150 covers the law allowing public safety officers to detain these folks.

    Your friend, had he continued to make such threats at the jail, would likely have been evaluated at the jail. Or, if not, the jail may have refused the booking until after an evaluation was done and a clearance was provided. But, one does NOT just get a case dismissed because there were not transported for an evaluation after saying they wanted to kill themself - the two matters are not connected.

    And, on a side note, if he was inebriated, it is the policy and practice of most mental health agencies not to respond until the person has sobered up. So, the agency can either transport and detain at the hopsital pending the sobering and evaluation, or, he gets stripped down, put into a segregation cell at the jail, and is evaluated when he is sober there.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What Are the Police Procedures when Dealing with Suicidal Suspects

    The procedures may vary between depts, in Brooklyn, an individual with mental issues was on a 1 story balcony, nude,waving a long flourescent light tube around, ala a "Jedi" light saber, police arrived, tasered him, he fell to the sidewalk below and died, according to the police, it was up to the officers discretion at the scene to tase someone on a balcony, it was truly sad, but in the end, the community was kept safe

  8. #8

    Default Re: What Are the Police Procedures when Dealing with Suicidal Suspects

    I'm not sure the GOAL was met there though. The desired outcome is safety for the subject as well...and unless there was some other factor you haven't recounted, the tasing of a subject not causing immediate risk to himself or others may NOT have been justified - particularly in light of being on a balcony and that tasing ending with the death of the suspect from the fall. Just has having to take into account bystanders when using deadly force of tossing bullets around, the situational factors here seem suspicious at best. Since when does waving around a light in the nude on ones balcony merit an outcome of death? Maybe I'm not seeing the imminent threat clearly.

    Carl, your two cents?
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

    Fave Big Bang Theory site: Sheldon Cooper Fans

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What Are the Police Procedures when Dealing with Suicidal Suspects

    "Since when does waving around a light in the nude on ones balcony merit an outcome of death? Maybe I'm not seeing the imminent threat clearly."

    I certainly agree, and this took place on a somewhat busy street with many bystanders present including the victims mother close by, according to one bystander, the police refused the mother to get close and try to intervene and talk with him, and my gosh, there were like 8 cops there in riot suits and helments, I would think they could just rush the guy, a cop on the sidewalk directly under the guy shot him with a taser, causing him to fall to the sidewalk resulting in a crushing head injury

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What Are the Police Procedures when Dealing with Suicidal Suspects

    This happened over one and a half years ago. The Lieutenant (Michael Piggott) who gave the command to Taser the subject was so torn up about the unintended death that he committed suicide not long afterwards.

    The NYPD had rules that the use of the Taser was outside of guidelines at the time of the incident as apparently their policy included language specifically prohibiting the device's deployment when the target person might fall from a raised location.

    Since 2008 there has been - and continues to be - a constant refining of the appropriate deployment of a Taser. At least one federal court has ruled that the Taser is just a step below the use of deadly force while it is commonly used as something less than a baton but greater than "hands on" force.

    When dealing with a mentally ill subject there are a great many reasons why you might not want to get close to him. I suspect this subject's position was such that they felt he might jump or otherwise injure himself so the Taser was deployed. Had it worked and he had not fallen from the balcony, the Lt. may well have been consider a quick thinker and brilliant for using it to prevent harm from befalling an insane man. As it was, he will be castigated and he paid the ultimate price for the man's death.

    Quote Quoting NCC 1701
    View Post
    according to one bystander, the police refused the mother to get close and try to intervene and talk with him,
    Not always the best choice ... very often it is a family member that may have been the catalyst for the current situation. Some family members are not the best person to talk with a delusional subject. And, of course, it can also put the family member in danger.

    and my gosh, there were like 8 cops there in riot suits and helments, I would think they could just rush the guy,
    The guy fell from a balcony ... it cannot have been that big. 8 guys would have meant nothing. Any more than two would likely have been a danger to themselves, and even two could have been tough. Besides, do YOU want to go hands on with a guy that might decide to take BOTH of you down with him? I wouldn't! If he wants to jump, he can do it alone.

    There is no cookie cutter method for dealing with mentally ill patients. There are means by which one can play the odds to best diffuse a situation, but what works for one person in one situation may not work the next time. It can be a complex process to identify what might work and what might not, and if you guess wrong, it could be a fatal error for someone. Effective policies are fluid and provide only the most basic of guidelines for officers to follow when dealing with mentally ill subjects so as to grant them the flexibility to help.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

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