An investigation is underway in the police-involved killing of an African-American psychiatric patient on Saturday who was reportedly armed with a piece of glass.
It’s unclear if the officers failed to use de-escalation procedures to avoid a fatal outcome.
The Sun-Sentinel identified the man as Jarvis Randall, a patient at the University Hospital and Medical Center’s behavioral health center in Tamarac, Florida. Staff members called the Broward County Sheriff’s Office about him on Saturday night.
Randal, a felon who was on mental-health probation for burglary charges, became violent and made threats, according to a sheriff’s office spokeswoman.
“Investigators said he was armed with an edged-glass weapon,” said Veda Coleman-Wright, adding that efforts to calm Randall failed.
One of the officers shot at Randall with a beanbag, but instead of stopping him, it caused Randall to charge at the deputies. That prompted the three officers to shoot him.
Randall is the latest in a long list of mentally ill African-American men killed by police. The list includes Alfred Olango, who pointed a vaping device at officers when cops shot and killed him in 2016.
And in April 2018, four officers — one in uniform, three in plainclothes — killed Saheed Vassell, 34, in a hail of 10 bullets on a Brooklyn sidewalk. The officers responded to calls about a Black man with a gun. But it turned out that Vassell, who suffered from bipolar disorder, was holding a pipe. No firearm was found at the scene.
Unlike Olango and Vassell, the police knew that Randell, 30, was mentally ill during their encounter.
The three deputies are on restricted duty while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates.