Nearly 100 protesters congregated in Pasadena, California, on Friday night after a bi-polar African-American man died during a struggle with local police. This is the second man with mental health issues to be killed by law enforcement this week.
According to KTLA News, Shainie Lindsay told the press that her partner Reginald Thomas, 36, had called the police on himself because he “wanted help” while experiencing an episode. The police said what when the arrived on the scene to settle the “domestic disturbance” they were met by “the suspect at the location armed with a knife” in one hand and a fire extinguisher in the other.
According to a police press release, Thomas did not comply with officers’ orders of putting down and objects and tried to “re-enter an occupied apartment,” which later escalated into a brawl. Lindsay recalled the police tased the father of eight, struck him with their batons and kicked him even after he dropped the extinguisher, the New York Daily News wrote. Thomas later died at 2:06am after police couldn’t revive him.
“They was wrestling with him, was kicking him in the head and beating him with the baton stick,” Lindsay said. “Then, after that, they was doing CPR and then he was dead.”
Yet, authorities claim using physical force was necessary in this situation.
“Physical force was used to restrain and take the individual into custody,” Capt. Steven Katz confirmed. “He was handcuffed, and at some point his ankles were restrained with a restraint device.”
And while this wasn’t the first encounter that Thomas had with the police, Lindsay is adamant that those past altercations were never violent.
“He was a good father, and they didn’t have to kill him,” Lindsay said in tears. “He just wanted help. He didn’t want to die.”
Outside the home, residents and protesters demanded to see the video of the attack, but it’s unknown if law enforcement will release the footage to the public, KTLA noted.
Thomas’ death is similar to the recent death of Alfred Olango, a mentally ill unarmed Black man in San Diego who was shot to death by police for ‘acting erratically,” pulling put a silver vape pen from his pocket and standing in a shooting stance. In addition, this month alone we’ve seen three high-profile shooting deaths of Tyre King in Ohio, Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma, and Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte—all by the hands of the police.