Last fall, Hawa Bah called 911 to ask for help getting her depressed son, Mohamed, 28, to a hospital for medical care. It wasn’t an ambulance that showed up, but New York City police officers, says CBS News. Bah says that despite her requests that the officers leave, they forced their way in and, after a confrontation in which police allege Bah lunged at the officers with a knife, shot and killed Mohamed. This week, Bah’s family filed a federal lawsuit aiming to force better training for NYPD officers to deal with emotionally disturbed citizens, as well as seeking damages.
Randolph McLaughlin, an attorney for the family, said NYPD protocols for dealing with the estimated 100,000-plus annual calls from “emotionally disturbed persons” are “no longer adequate.” The suit asks that NYPD use the “Memphis Model,” a training program developed by the Memphis Police Department in 1988 that brings police together with mental health professionals to create a Crisis Intervention Team for responding to emotionally disturbed person calls.