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Deadly capitol attack outs Black mental health on the national stage

I watched the first week of former Minneapolis police officer Derrick Chauvin’s murder trial, and listened to the heartbreaking testimony of a 9-year-old witness who said she was “sad and kind of mad” while watching George Floyd’s life slip away under the weight of Chauvin’s knee. Her testimony, like that of so many other witnesses, left me eager for a weekend that wouldn’t involve violent interactions between Black men and police.

Then, on Friday afternoon, police said that someone had rammed a car into two Capitol police officers in Washington DC before hitting a barrier and allegedly jumping out of the car with a knife. The suspect was shot and killed by the officers, and one of the policemen, William Evans, died from injuries sustained in the attack, according to police.

At first, I thought the suspect might have been a straggler from January’s pro-Trump capitol mob. I was wrong. The alleged attacker was a Black man named Noah Green, and the violence that occurred between Green and the police appeared to have been driven by Green’s alleged struggle with mental illness. Though we have often focused on the substantial role of race in police violence, people with untreated mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed during a police encounter than other civilians, according to the Treatment Advocacy Project. And, when race and mental illness are combined, the results can be catastrophic.
Read full Article here on WHYY
Photo: Capitol After Insurrection. By. Victoria Pickering

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