Crown Heights Shooting of Mr. Vassell Latest Example of Failure of NYC Mental Health Policy
(New York, April 5, 2018) The shooting of mentally ill Saheed Vassell by police in Crown Heights is the latest example of the failure of NYC mental health policy. Like with Deborah Danner, police had brought Mr. Vassell to the hospital for psychiatric care on multiple occasions and, like with Deborah Danner, he was released each time apparently without adequate follow-up. Shootings by police of mentally ill and shootings by mentally ill of police are both due to lack of treatment. 39% of the seriously mentally ill in New York do not receive treatment. Until New York focuses its mental health budget on the most seriously ill, and expands use of Kendra’s Law, we will see more of these tragic incidents.
DJ Jaffe, executive director, Mental Illness Policy Org