Because, as we’re learning, many of them are incompetent thugs. Here’s a case of a woman who was executed for the crime of being arrested while mentally ill.
A mentally ill woman who died after a stun gun was used on her at the Fairfax County jail in February was restrained with handcuffs behind her back, leg shackles and a mask when a sheriff’s deputy shocked her four times, incident reports obtained by The Washington Post show.
Natasha McKenna initially cooperated with deputies, placed her hands through her cell door food slot and agreed to be handcuffed, the reports show. But McKenna, whose deteriorating mental state had caused Fairfax to seek help for her, then began trying to fight her way out of the cuffs, repeatedly screaming, “You promised you wouldn’t hurt me!” the reports show.
Then, six members of the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team, dressed in white full-body biohazard suits and gas masks, arrived and placed a wildly struggling 130-pound McKenna into full restraints, their reports state. But when McKenna wouldn’t bend her knees so she could be placed into a wheeled restraint chair, a lieutenant delivered four 50,000-volt shocks from the Taser, enabling the other deputies to strap her into the chair, the reports show.
So her hands are cuffed, her legs are shackled, they’ve got her muzzled, and six policemen are so damned bad at their job that they can’t cope, so they tase her to death.
You know, there’s nothing in that account of her behavior to actually suggest that she was mentally ill: she was abused, confined, and treated with such insensitivity that being terrified sounds like a perfectly reasonable, rational response. If we’re going to attach the stigma of mental illness to any behavior, it ought to be to the kind of mentality that allows six men to torture a woman to death…but even there, that seems to be a too human and too common kind of mentality to call an illness.