This could have gone very differently, and very badly

Lost in the news about how Trump is both a tax avoider and a failure as a businessman comes the story that police were called to the home of Trump’s former campaign manager and now campaign aide Brad Parscale by his wife because he was heavily armed and had made threats about causing self-harm.

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale has been hospitalised after he threatened to harm himself, according to Florida police and campaign officials.

Police were called to the home in Desota Drive in the Seven Isles community of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, late on Sunday afternoon. The home is owned by Bradley and Candice Parscale.

“When officers arrived on scene, they made contact with the reportee (wife of armed subject) who advised her husband was armed, had access to multiple firearms inside the residence and was threatening to harm himself,” Fort Lauderdale police said in a statement.

“Officers determined the only occupant inside the home was the adult male. Officers made contact with the male, developed a rapport, and safely negotiated for him to exit the home.”

I am glad that this ended the way it did, that no one was harmed, and that Parscale can get the help that he clearly needs.

But this story reminded me of the many previous occasions when people of color called for help when a mentally disturbed member of the family was acting strange and could not be talked down. Very often, those calls to the police ended up with the man shot dead by police, even if he were not known to be as heavily armed as Parscale was.

I did a quick search and found multiple cases like that of Dennis Carolino.

The family of a mentally-ill man armed with a shovel who was shot and killed by San Diego Police Officers in August 2019 have filed a legal claim with the city of San Diego.

Police officers Jose Mendez and Brad Keyes were called to a home on Adelaide Avenue on Aug. 24, 2019, after a woman called 911 to request a mental health team help assist her with nephew, Dennis Carolino. The 53-year-old had, according to a legal claim that NBC 7 Investigates obtained through a public records request, thrown a rock at her home. 

David Carolino, the man’s brother, filed the legal claim on Jan. 17, 2020, alleging his aunt, Rose Carolino, told dispatchers that his brother was in the midst of a psychotic breakdown. 

“Two San Diego Police officers…without probable or gold cause, shot and killed my brother, Dennis Carolino. [He] did not pose an immediate threat of bodily injury or harm to either of them,” reads the claim. “They did not seek alternatives first. As a result of the police killing my brother, I suffered and continue to suffer emotional distress.”

All that this man had as a possible weapon was a shovel, whereas Parscale’s wife told police that he had multiple weapons, had assaulted her, and had loaded his gun. The Miami Herald reports that police took ten guns from Parscale’s home and that he had possibly even fired one of them and had resisted arrest. And yet police did not go in with guns blazing into Parscale’s house.

In reports released Monday, police documented a tense scene in which Parscale — after possibly firing a shot inside his house — refused to leave and was ultimately tackled by SWAT officers on his driveway when he emerged shirtless with a beer in his hand.

“I initiated a double leg take down,” wrote Sgt. Matthew Moceri, one of the responding officers, noting that the 6-foot-8-inch Parscale towered over him and ignored his commands to get down.

Shoot first and ask questions later is usually done when people are poor and/or of color. If you fit either of those categories, police view you as a dangerous homicidal maniac who has to be killed.


  1. says

    Wellll, to be fair, he’s white, and white folks are under a lot of pressure these days, what with losing privileges and everything, so being extra careful to not go in with guns blazing was certainly warranted. On the other hand… /snark

    The disparity in approach and treatment is stunning at times.

  2. Marissa van Eck says

    You’re too nice. I don’t care that this sounds mean or nasty: I wish he’d shot himself and rid the world of his stenching evil. Anyone associated with the Trump apparatus has already punched their ticket to Hell, metaphorically speaking.

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