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Re: Tow Operator Shot - Killed (OFF-DUTY) California


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I don't know how to label this incident that happened last week in California, perhaps as an unofficial tower down happening not too far from my house.


A 27-year-old male was shot and killed by Riverside County Sheriff's Deputies, was reported to be a tow truck driver for his father's company and was/had experiencing alleged mental health and family issues. The male was not working at the time he was contacted by deputies.  The family called for police assistance because of an altercation in which the male was agitated and not on medications. As deputies arrived, the male was carrying some kind of object, Sheriff deputies gave orders to drop the weapon and the male refused resulting in him being shot. I feel really bad for this entire incident where the family called for assistance, but the nature of the male's mental condition forced deputies to use deadly force. Was this a case of suicide by cop (?) perhaps, but my heart still goes out for everyone involved. I pray for their peace.     R.


Link:  https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/11/25/we-were-trying-to-help-him-says-sister-of-mentally-ill-azusa-man-killed-by-deputies-in-lake-elsinore/

Randall C. Resch

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Going Into, Around and Throughout the Holidays it always seems that someone around us is struggling with their ability to cope with the pressures of life. Society does recognize or deal with Mental Health any better than it did decades ago. The different is today from decades ago, there were State Mental Hospitals and it seemed anyone could check themselves in regardless of ability to pay. I believe many of those who are suffering today would do just that and get the needed help. The difference is today we have fewer of these much needed institutions.


Just thinking about how much money has been thrown at programs and foreign aid that hasn't had much to move that needle. Maintaining and Supporting Mental Institutions along with our Infrastructure should have been priority. At least it seems the Veterans Hospitals seem to be getting proper funding as you don't hear as much about them in the news. Heck the news doesn't even report about the new Veterans Hospitals being Built. But, the do report about raising Taxes.


Our thoughts are with the family, who are likely searching for answers and to the police offices who were responding to the situation as they have been trained. Since I do not know what the exact situation was and cannot speculate, I do know many of these instances of a family member with a history of mental illness end in the same tragic loss of life. I am sure there will be body cam footage released at some point as it is reported nearly 85% of officers these days wear a body cam.

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Thanks Ron for your nice sentiments from all sides of the fence. As the family who calls 911 (only for assistance) to help calm or control and mentally challenged family member, they now have to experience the guilt and anguish when their family member is killed. They family only called because they needed help, but, for the deputies who respond with an initial intent to help, when they're met with a potentially violent, agitated individual with a weapon, they're actions must be decisive and timely so they, or others, are not injured or killed; a tough decision none-the-less. If an individual has suicidal intent, sometimes responding deputies are forced to choose deadly force only to protect their own lives as the interaction escalates, or, the subject fails to respond to the deputies orders. Although I've never had to use deadly force, I've been on these incredibly difficult calls where sometimes there's no easy way out. I'm confident that the deputies involved were justifiable in their actions as trained. And, as you mentioned, "body cams", Riverside County Sheriff's deputies have been wearing body cams since January 2016.    R.

Randall C. Resch

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