A stacked deck: How police forces get away with killing more than 1,000 Americans a year — (Business Insider)

SSRI Ed note: Man who has been drinking takes Prozac, valium, antihistamine, becomes suicidal, agitated, girlfriemd calls police, he grabs a knife, is shot and killed.

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Business Insider


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Pittsfield Considering Citizens Oversight of Police Department — (iBerkshires.com)

By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff

03:56AM / Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Police Chief Michael Wynn doesn’t disagree with the concept of a citizens advisory group to increase transparency but how the ordinance is written matters.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On Sept. 1, 2017, Jacquelyn Sykes made a decision she will regret for the rest of her life.

She called the police for help.

Her boyfriend Daniel Gillis was distraught that day. He was stressed out about moving to Boston for a job and earlier he had gotten into with a co-worker and thought he may have lost that opportunity. That afternoon he was drunk when Sykes got home. She got him in the car and was planning to take him to his mother’s house to sleep it off.

But he pulled on the steering wheel and Sykes brought the car to a halt. He got out and went to her house and kicked in the door to get inside.

“I called the Pittsfield Police Department for help and I’ll probably always regret my decision to make that call,” Sykes said.

While she waited for officers, she noticed Gillis had a bottle of her medication and fearing he’d use them to take his own life, she barged in to take them away. He was suicidal and had a kitchen knife in his hand. Sykes pulled it away and ran out of the back door. She told the cops what happened.

“I thought they understood that time was on their side if they’d just wait him out,” she said.

More officers arrived and instead of waiting, they were yelling at Gillis, she said. Gillis, with another knife in hand, came out of the house when, she said, the last officer to arrive on scene shot him seven times.

Danny was never tased or pepper sprayed. I’m convinced that had police controlled the situation and given Danny just a little time, room, and calm, it would have only been a matter of time before all the medicine he’d taken kicked in,” she said.

She was interrogated and denied the ability to see his body. She remembers running from the hospital home after she was finally told that Gillis had died. When she did get home, she said she had to argue with officers on the scene to get a change of clothes.

Later she went to the Police Station and asked to speak to a detective about filing charges against the officer but was denied an interview as the case was under an internal investigation.

A month after that, the Police Department determined that Officer Christopher Colello had done nothing wrong during the response.