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|from:||MaryLovesJustice Neal firstname.lastname@example.org|
October 22nd Coalition
|date:||Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 11:46 AM|
|subject:||Oct 22 - Stop Police Violence Against the Mentally Ill|
As the director of Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill, I certainly looked forward to the October 22 Coalition protest in Atlanta today. Unfortunately, my elderly mother is unwell and I may not be able to attend. Therefore, I ask that organizers please be mindful that over 50 percent of police violence victims are people with a history of mental illness. They are attacked and often killed by police in their homes, on our streets, and behind bars. The mentally ill also comprise over half of America's prisoners: 1.25 million sick people are wrongly incarcerated rather than treated in their communities or mental hospitals. Budgets for mental health care were cut in order to arrest sick people and start America's private jail and prison system. In Atlanta, homeless shelters are being closed so that more of these people will be arrested than before. Two homeless shelters already closed, and the Atlanta Task Force, which houses some 900 people, is fighting in court to survive. Mercenary people want the prime Midtown Atlanta property where the Task Force sits, and prison investors want the homeless jailed.
In 2014, we were made aware of numerous murders against people with mental illness, including Jerome Murdough, who was baked to death in Rikers Island, Darren Rainey, who was boiled to death in Dade County Correctional Facility, and too many more to name. Recently, Milwaukee's police chief fired an officer who picked a fight with a mentally ill teenager in the park then shot him 14 TIMES. Police aggression is directed mostly at black people and the mentally ill of any race. We need to talk about this and make sure everyone is aware of the numerous assaults on society's most vulnerable members. As usual, the victims are mostly people who are black, brown, or poor.
I would be grateful if you mention the fact that most victims of police violence and brutality behind bars are also mentally ill people. There are approximately 80,000 inmates in cruel solitary confinement today, and over 60 percent of them are mentally ill. Approximately 80 percent of inmates in SHU are black. There seems to be no attempt on the government's part to end torture of American prisoners. In fact, Solitary Watch revealed that in the U.S. report to the United Nations that will be filed in November denies that solitary confinement is systemically used against juveniles and the mentally ill in America.
These are a few of the concerns that I wanted to address today at the October 22 Coalition protest in Atlanta, but I must ask that you do this instead. Please don't let oppression of our people who experience mental disabilities go without mention. AIMI plans an International Court action for 2015, when we will take such murders as my own disabled brother suffered before the United Nations and the world. Learn about it at http://aimi-humanrights.blogspot.com
I am very grateful to the sponsors and organizers of the October 22 Day of Remembrance and protest against police violence. It means a great deal to me as the sister of a man who was secretly arrested for 18 days and murdered in jail, especially since Larry Neal's murder was covered-up. Cover-ups of jailhouse murders are possible to a greater degree than murders that happen in public where people film police violence. I am thankful that due to many news reports, especially by the Miami Herald, many jailhouse murders of mentally ill people and others are being revealed to a greater extent than before despite cover-ups.
Milwaukee Police Chief Fired Officer Who Shot Man in Park
UN investigates US Systemic Prison Torture
2 years later, Florida keeps lid on prison death details
Mary Loves Justice Neal
(678) 531.0262 or (571)335-1741
Wrongful Death of Larry Neal