Public advocate calls for improved response to those experiencing mental health crises

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A new report by New York City's public advocate examined ways to improve responses to people in mental health crises.

The report released by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams says that in the last three years, at least 15 people experiencing mental health crises have been shot and killed by NYPD officers.

"We need to evaluate models that provide a non-police response to acute medical crisis," says Williams. "We can't repeat this... these are people who need medical attention."

Mentioned in the report was Saheed Vassell, of Crown Heights, who was shot and killed by police last year. Multiple calls were placed to 911 about Vassell, who was walking in the street holding a metal pipe. He was known to have a mental condition.

Also mentioned was 66-year-old Deborah Danner, of the Bronx, who lived with mental illness for 30 years. In 2016, she was shot and killed by a police sergeant during a confrontation in her apartment.

Williams also called for additional drop centers for those with mental health concerns and to create mental health urgent care centers.

 

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