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  1. #1
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    Default Police Profiling of Mentally Ill Subjects

    My question involves police conduct in the State of: MI


    As a society we can no longer involuntarily commit the mentally ill without them first committing a crime or posing a danger to themselves or others. As such, Iíve noticed that a lot of police officers are hyper vigilant around people that they suspect are mentally ill. They donít like them and perceive them as a threat and nuisance, especially mentally ill men. Do police and the legal system sometimes go the extra mile to profile mentally ill individuals; in other words, is there differential policing of these individuals just to try to get them off the street? Are the mentally ill particularly vulnerable to being set up or framed up by the police, and can this be justified? Might police make an extra effort to charge a mentally ill person with as many crimes as possible, or the most serious crimes possible? Do the mentally ill get longer sentences for committing the same crimes as the general population? And finally, if you are a known mentally Ill but high functioning and law abiding person, do you have any defenses or rights against unfair or aggressive police profiling and discrimination in the CJS, or is this just an accepted practice?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Police Profiling of Mentally Ill Subjects

    Quote Quoting jabzag
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    My question involves police conduct in the State of: MI


    As a society we can no longer involuntarily commit the mentally ill without them first committing a crime or posing a danger to themselves or others. As such, I’ve noticed that a lot of police officers are hyper vigilant around people that they suspect are mentally ill. They don’t like them and perceive them as a threat and nuisance, especially mentally ill men. Do police and the legal system sometimes go the extra mile to profile mentally ill individuals; in other words, is there differential policing of these individuals just to try to get them off the street? Are the mentally ill particularly vulnerable to being set up or framed up by the police, and can this be justified? Might police make an extra effort to charge a mentally ill person with as many crimes as possible, or the most serious crimes possible? Do the mentally ill get longer sentences for committing the same crimes as the general population? And finally, if you are a known mentally Ill but high functioning and law abiding person, do you have any defenses or rights against unfair or aggressive police profiling and discrimination in the CJS, or is this just an accepted practice?
    In theory, anything might be possible. In practice, law enforcement details mentally ill subjects for evaluation by mental health professionals. The final assessment of whether they are a danger to themselves or someone else is up to a clinical professional and NOT the police.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "profile". In some cases, mental illness can be pretty obvious, in others, not so much. Sometimes crimes mask mental illness and as a result, the mentally ill subject might be arrested for a crime rather than taken for a mental health evaluation.

    As for charging mentally ill people with as many crimes as possible ... why? But, just as with ANY arrest, there must be probable cause to make the arrest and to support the charges alleged. They can't just write down a whole bunch of things and assume they'll be charged or prosecuted. And, ultimately, it is up to the DA to pursue charges anyway.

    Someone who is mentally ill and not exhibiting any behavior indicating they are a danger to themselves or others, and not committing any crimes, then the person shouldn't have anything to worry about.

    But, this much ado about nothing. Do you have a specific scenario or situation in mind? Your questions are far too broad to answer easily, and subject to a great deal of conjecture and opinion. I can tell you what the law says, what common practice is, and even what policies certain agencies might have with regards to the mentally ill. But, I cannot tell you what every officer everywhere might do, say, or think.
    **********
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Police Profiling of Mentally Ill Subjects

    If the police are aware a person may be mentally ill, yes, they often proceed with dealing with them differently than they would mentally well people. Since the cops are not doctors and won’t know the specifics of the illness a person may be suffering from, they tend to be more wary, or hyper vigilant in your terms, of such people. Mentally ill people often do not respond to a given situation in the same manner a mentally well person would. They are unpredictable and as such, yes, a cop having an interaction with a mentally ill person will likely be more alert to something happening. Common sense suggests nothing less.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Police Profiling of Mentally Ill Subjects

    Quote Quoting jabzag
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    As a society we can no longer involuntarily commit the mentally ill without them first committing a crime or posing a danger to themselves or others. As such, I’ve noticed that a lot of police officers are hyper vigilant around people that they suspect are mentally ill.
    Most mental illness is not immediately obvious, especially to those not trained in mental health. Certainly cops will be careful around anyone displaying odd behavior, whether it is due to mental illness, drugs or alcohol, since the cops cannot predict what people displaying such behavior will do. In my area those that cops suspect are mentally ill, seem to be in need of help, and who have not committed any crime are certainly not subject to the kinds of things you describe, like falsely stating the person committed a crime and then arresting the person. Rather, they call the city social services unit and social workers come out to try to find some appropriate care for the person. In the end though, if the person is competent and refuses care there is not anything the cops or the social workers can do to force them into care.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Police Profiling of Mentally Ill Subjects

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    Most mental illness is not immediately obvious, especially to those not trained in mental health. Certainly cops will be careful around anyone displaying odd behavior, whether it is due to mental illness, drugs or alcohol, since the cops cannot predict what people displaying such behavior will do. In my area those that cops suspect are mentally ill, seem to be in need of help, and who have not committed any crime are certainly not subject to the kinds of things you describe, like falsely stating the person committed a crime and then arresting the person. Rather, they call the city social services unit and social workers come out to try to find some appropriate care for the person. In the end though, if the person is competent and refuses care there is not anything the cops or the social workers can do to force them into care.
    I was involved in a situation where I was reported by a jilted girl for possessing a very small amount adderal at an off campus housing location. She was a mental health student, and she wasnít stable herself, so she knew exactly how to pluck the strings with the police. She claimed I was violent, paranoid, and delusional. None of this was true, there was no evidence for it besides her statement, and I hadnít undergone a mental health evaluation. But the police used her statement to trespass me and effectively end my enrollment at the University on basis that I was a danger to the community and involved in a criminal investigation. It was very humiliating and upsetting, for what seemed like a trivial issue.

    The police then had me under the microscope from that point forward. I overreacted because my hard worked med school dreams were shot, and verbally confronted the girl for doing this to me, and they used that evidence to further charge me with witness intimidation and support their claim that i was mentally ill. A confirmation bias. I believe I was just under duress. I was required to get mental health treatment as a term of my probation, the whole thing bankrupt me financially and emotionally, and Iíve been screwed up ever since. But it was BECAUSE of the legal involvement, I was fine before.

    I understand that I had committed a crime, but it didnít Ďseemí that serious considering how widely accepted adderal use is on college campuses. There isnít a social stigma. It just seems like very serious and compounded consequences for being perceived as mentally ill. It felt very unfair, insidious, and blown way out of proportion. But maybe Iím just naive and that is the normal vigilant police response and consequences. As someone put it to me, in this day and age itís better to be proactive with mentally ill people, than wait and see what happens.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Police Profiling of Mentally Ill Subjects

    It would take more than an accusation that to get your enrollment terminated. While a worthwhile admin would take serious note of the concern, you would be given the opportunity to defend yourself during their investigation. If the police were successful in convincing the admin you should be removed from campus permanently, it’s probable they saw something to support the girls statements.

    the bad part is your actions after the initial issue really did support her claims. That suggests there is some validity to her statements.


    blaming your current mental condition on the events you described is wrong. Apparently you did have issues, maybe that you really weren’t aware of at that time, that have since become more prevalent since you were removed from school. You weren’t fine before. Denial doesn’t change that.


    and possessing prescription meds without a scrip is a serious crime. Your attempt to minimize the crime is nothing more than refusing to accept the truth of the issue. It’s a crime, period.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Police Profiling of Mentally Ill Subjects

    Wait a minute! Aren't you the guy who was booted from pharmacy school for possession of Adderal...at the least? You need to let this go. It's time. You're not going back, Adderal is not a study aid and it's not your ex's fault. It's yours'
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Police Profiling of Mentally Ill Subjects

    I was just going to say, this OP has posted about this issue on more than one occasion.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Police Profiling of Mentally Ill Subjects

    Quote Quoting jabzag
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    I understand that I had committed a crime, but it didn’t ‘seem’ that serious considering how widely accepted adderal use is on college campuses.
    You did commit a crime as possession of that drug without a prescription is illegal. And apparently you admitted as much in a plea deal. I don't know what you mean by "widely accepted" since I'm pretty sure that the university administration does not approve of students possessing illegal drugs. According to your other posts on this site this happened some years ago. There is nothing legally you can do to overturn that now and living in the past is hurting you — you need to get over this so you can move forward with your life. If you let that incident consume you for the rest of your life you'll simply be miserable. It might help you to get some counseling to help you get past this and move on to a more productive and happy phase of your life.

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