Family of Tommy Le, 20-Year-Old Shot by King County Deputy, Plans to Sue County

Comments

1
A mistake?

I “mistakenly” used a permanent black marker on a white board instead of a dry-erase marker.

I made a mistake when I ordered ink cartridges for my Canon printer instead of toner.

I used salt instead of sugar in a cookie recipe, my mistake!

This was wanton disregard for life, then lying on a legal police report and lying to the family. Did they deliberately lie? Or did the adrenaline surges lead to misremembering the facts for dealing with an “EDP?” (emotionally distraught person).

Drugs are easy to procure. With an App one can order specific drugs and have them delivered. This is ESPECIALLY simple in an upper scale white neighborhood. Just another service like rug cleaning/dry cleaning pickup. Fentanyl and its analogues (similar drugs) have caused a 541% increase of OD deaths as it is 100 times more potent than Oxy or other opioids but initial basic drug screens are usually inadequate. It’s inaccurate to think that every drug ingested or absorbed through the skin “shows up on a drug screen.” The lab has to be told which specific drugs to look for! TV and movies are wildly inaccurate in showing drug screens that “magically” show up bizarre or even normal drugs such as digitalis. No you need to tell the machine the exact drugs you’re looking for. We have woefully inadequate screening for mental illness. Diabetes? EASILY diagnosed with just a simple urine test or simple blood test looking for increased or markedly decreased sugar or ketone levels.

OTOH diagnosis & treatment of mental illness can be hard. A new lab assistant can pick up abnormal sugar or ketone levels in urine or a blood specimen. Schizophrenia, bipolar, and dissociative states (They’re not themselves at all) don’t have biomarkers--proteins or other chemical compounds that show up in blood or urine. Nothing shows up in regular x-rays or CT scans. Diagnosing precise mental illness requires a 4 year MD with 3 to 7 EXTRA years in neurology AND psychiatry to obtain not only the skill to diagnose folks but also to come up with a treatment plan of therapy with the correct medications!

Now a police officer doesn’t need a psych degree. They just need to differentiate normal behavior from abnormal and how to get an EDP to trust you.
AT THE VERY LEAST police need to be trained/educated not to shoot and kill a person who is having a psychotic break! vs a bad guy out to intentionally hurt people on like a hostage taker in a botched robbery. An EDP has NO organized thinking.

They used tasers then ALSO shot him in the back? OK, perhaps he was advancing towards the police then turned the other way and thus the entrance of the wounds in the back. But why were guns even drawn?

This was a 20 year old young man of Vietnamese ancestry. These are small, slender people---not like dealing with 350 pound Samoans. STILL, if he was emotionally distraught he could have been less than “co-operative.” They were concerned if he had taken drugs and the first drug screen was negative which is why they were now looking at hallucinogenics. Yelling out “I’m the creator”and not responding to normal speech can indicate drug intoxication. ALSO young people frequently have their first schizophrenic break in late teens and early 20s.

Schizophrenia isn’t a split personality. It’s disordered thinking with auditory and visual hallucinations....which is terrifying to the patient and to anyone dealing with him.

BUT whether drugs or mental illness those in the psych profession don’t carry guns inpatient. In medicine we are trained to talk down, defuse a situation,whereas a police officer by his/her very presence/uniform can accelerate erratic behavior QUICKLY.

Did he have a pen or knife? Sounds like it. Both can be weapons. These cops MUST learn how to defuse a situation. Talking quietly forces the guy to LISTEN more closely. Don’t antagonize....tell the guy you’re there to help him. It’s too easy to get so amped up that the cop begins raising his voice, yelling.

I’ve worked in trauma settings both in hospital and called to a scene. I don’t wear a gun. I’ve been scratched (well clawed), knocked against a wall...but also learned Jiu-Jitsuto to defend myself and use submission moves with others to carefully take down a patient. I ended up on a call to a rural clinic--called out on Christmas Eve to check a woman after having a child two weeks before. I knew who she was so went alone. Ended up she had psychotic postpartum depression. Delusional and hallucinating badly. She had on a full length rain coat and pulled out a shotgun. Took an hour, but calmed her down. She ended up handing me the gun. I got her into the hospital.

In an era of “guns everywhere” undiagnosed and untreated mental illness....(BTW Brilliant s/ plan to empty state hospitals and put psychotic people without help onto the street.) our police must
1) All have a minimum of 4 year college degree with a Master’s needed for command.
2) Much higher wages. Hey the GOP is the “law and order” party. Instead of building more more private prisons using federal and state funds--the money needs to pay for increased education and training and higher wages.
3) COMPLETE retraining of all police departments with new new leadership. (No more Sheriff Joe Arpaios)

Get rid of all private gun ownership. We try to solve all foreign and domestic problems with unmitigated force! Diplomacy always first.
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Not so many opinions?
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@1. The examples of mistakes you gave are totally relevant... for a low stakes, low stress office job. Some examples of mistakes that a police officer can make in his/her high stakes high stress job are... letting his guard down at the wrong moment and being killed or assaulted, losing control or sight of a suspect and having them escape to commit further harms, making an zero reaction time decision and shooting someone when in hindsight it may not have been warranted. None of those scenarios fit into your office job problems comparison.

@2 is correct to point out that the difference in environments requires different approaches to dealing with mental health crisis. He also points out that the difference in job missions is relevant in discouraging comparison which is something a lot of people can't comprehend or maybe just don't want to.

@3. I would hazard a guess that the usual trust fund Antifa ninjas that troll these boards don't care about this case because the deceased is not the right skin shade.