Adam Trammell’s father is furious that the criminal justice system allowed two cops who repeatedly shocked his mentally ill son with stun guns last year will not face justice.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office announced on Friday that there will be no charges against two police officers in the death of 22-year-old Trammell. District Attorney John Chisholm found “no basis to conclusively link Mr. [Adam] Trammell’s death to actions taken by police officers.”
“This is a nightmare. I can’t believe this. I think those people should resign. The D.A. and the chief of that police department,” said Trammell’s father, Larry Trammell, according to USA Today.
The two officers responded to a call on May 25 at the apartment complex where Trammell lived. A neighbor was concerned that he was experiencing a psychotic episode. Another neighbor who lived in the unit below Trammell’s apartment told the officers that water was leaking through the ceiling. The cops broke down Trammell’s door and found him naked, taking a shower.
Bodycam footage showed Trammell confused but calm when the cops confronted him. The officers used a Taser 15 times over a 30-minute period after he struggled to prevent them from taking him out the shower. Trammell ultimately lost consciousness, and the officers handcuffed him.
He wasn’t breathing and had no pulse when the paramedics put him into the ambulance. Trammell was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at the hospital.
“These police tortured Adam Trammell to death,” said Robin Shellow, a lawyer representing his family. “This was not ‘help.’ They were not protecting or serving anyone. Naked, cold, confused, alone in his own bathroom and crying for Jesus to take him, he needlessly suffered.”
It’s no surprise that the cops are back on duty, without fear of prosecution. “If you are mentally ill and black, you already have two strikes against you if you come into contact with law enforcement,” wrote civil rights attorney Ben Crump, referring to the spate of high-profile police killings of mentally ill African Americans.
In the article he wrote for CNN, Crump lamented a third strike, based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision on April 2. The justices ruled that an Arizona police officer who shot and killed a woman with a history of mental illness could not be sued. The court said the officer was entitled to qualified immunity. Under that legal doctrine, police are immune from excessive force lawsuits as long as they don’t violate “clearly established” rights that a “reasonable person would have known.”