In the past, Shirley Harrison called on police to help with her 38-year-old son, who was bipolar and mentally disabled. The last time she called police for help, which would occur on June 14, 2014, the visit would end horribly wrong.
A shocking body camera video released by the Dallas police department shows officers shooting Jason Harrison right in front of his mother. When Jason comes to the door, he is twirling a screwdriver. As soon as the officers on the scene approach Jason, they yell at him to drop it, drawing their guns. Only seconds later, the officers open fire on Jason, killing him.
On Thursday’s “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, the Straight Talk panel and Harrison family Attorney Geoff Henley discussed the disturbing details of the shooting.
Henley told Martin the officers involved in the deadly shooting are “back on the streets.”
He also suggests what should happen when law enforcement officials encounter someone who is mentally challenged:
“When a police officer arrives on a scene there is always a distinct clear assertion of authority and that completely counters how you have to handle people in mental crisis — when you need to talk them down, you need to lower your voice, you move slower, you need to give them distance.”
“You don’t need to be barking at them! Cops don’t generally get that. They generally struggle with that.”
Panelist Joia Jefferson Nuri, CEO of In the Public Eye Communications, summed up this growing trend of excessive force being used against African-American men, saying law enforcement officers do not see Blacks as “human beings.”
She continued, “We’re not citizens, we’re brutes. There is a fear that a Black man is a weapon just by being a Black man.”
According to Henley, the Harrison case has not been submitted to a grand jury despite the shooting taking place over a year ago.
“That is not that uncommon here in Dallas …That sort of lag time is not extraordinarily uncommon.”
Watch the video clip above.
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Be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.
Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.
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