Another day, another Black man’s life senselessly lost.
Jason Harrison was shot three times in front of the Dallas home he lived in with his mother by a White police officer last summer. The cops John Rogers and Andrew Hutchins gave the mentally ill patient only mere seconds to stop moving and drop the screwdriver he was holding in his hand before firing and the shocking incident was caught on video. What’s worse is that the officers continued to yell at Harrison to drop the screwdriver after he’d been shot dead.
The Harrison family is currently is the midst of a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Dallas Police Department. His mother Shirley has accused Rogers and Hutchins for having acted in police brutality. They were originally called to help subdue her son, who suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
After asking him to stop moving, the cops claimed they reacted in self-defense, but the video (filmed by a cop’s body cam) showed that Harrison didn’t surge or move violently at anyone. He seemed to have been moving slowly, a bit unaware of what was going on. Rogers and Hutchins should’ve spoken calmly to the 38-year-old, as it’s 101 that you don’t yell at an individual that is mentally unstable for it triggers for their anxiety.
The clip is so hard to watch and is being used as a tool in the Harrison suit. Some Dallas police members are standing up for Rogers and Hutchins, including one retired trainer of the Dallas Police, Keith Wenzel, “They did an absolutely perfect job.” Perfect? That word shouldn’t be anywhere near this situation, whether you agree or disagree with the outcome.
Other members were mortified by the incident. Cecile Tebo, former commander of New Orleans Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team informed, “It [was] the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life. That was handled very poorly.” There was definitely no need to instantly shoot the man. Strapping him down could’ve worked too.
Wenzel further argued, “Let’s just say he did move back. Well, if the suspect advances on the mother and stabs her, well people would say the officer should have stood between the mother and the son — which is what he did.” No Mr. Wenzel. You are so wrong. If your first move as a cop is to take out a gun and shoot–based on past incidents of abrupt or misguided authority, maybe you shouldn’t be a cop. The video shows that Harrison was not at all threatening anyone and didn’t even have a chance to drop the weapon.
Makes you think twice about calling the police for help. We pray this family gets their justice.