Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Had to call the police - Not recommended unless CIT

My son spent more than two hours screaming at the top of his lungs, using profane and threatening statements, both in the house and in the garage with the door up. I hate having to Baker-Act him but because he leaves home sometimes during the night, I couldn’t risk him harming someone else OR someone else harming him. He is 6’8" and very “in your face” but never this bad. I called the police to take him to a CSU but it turned out just as bad. At one point two officers had him on the floor in the garage, his arms underneath him and one of the officers started PUNCHING him with a closed fist in the back of his neck. I learned a long time ago to always WATCH how my son was treated (too much to go into now I’m still so pi$$ed). They usually ask you to “step inside the house” or into another room - but DON’T. He was taken away and then of course the facilities hide behind HIPPA when there IS a provision in the law itself to keep family members informed as to their status. Additional information is available if they sign the HIPPA release. So, right now I have no idea where he is but will be calling Internal Affairs on the young and probably inexperienced officer who was doing the punching. FL sucks (I hate using that word) when it comes to CIT officers because all are considered “trained and qualified” after a 40 hour class. Then I asked for the zone lieutenant and two officers later said he wasn’t needed because there were two supervisory officers at the scene. A total of some eight cars were at my house between 10:30 - 11:30. As ill as my son is, he still has a right not to be punched in order to get cuffs on him.

I would not do this. The cops know us well as they will you. Dont piss them off. Your son will be physically fine…

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They repeatedly punched him at the base of the neck. The officer may have been in his early 20s so 20 years from now, he’ll be pounding heads into pavement. And I don’t care if I piss them off - because they tasered him once years before - facedown in the middle of the street - all of his teeth had to be removed and his gums planed down. When there are issues in a police department, they should not be swept under the rug. There are good cops - I have family in the force - and there are bad cops.


Now thats fucked up and over the top…

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Support for you here! I have seen things go quite badly when people who are not trained in managing a mental health crisis respond to one.

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Oh so true. And after dealing with my son’s issues for about 30 years, I’ve seen it all. There are some who shouldn’t be working with the mentally ill…

That is so maddening. In my (limited) experience, there have been some really young guys who are still on a power trip. The older officers seem to have been calmer (or possibly better trained).
Punching him in the back of the neck is horrible.

That’s just horrible . Your poor son and you!. Police are just practicing their fighting skills on the poor innocent.

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@Pookey52, yup totally unacceptable police behaviour. I was treated with disrespect by a police officer in our small town after I had gotten a court order by a justice of the peace for my son to be taken to hospital for assessment. This was after waiting for him to get “sick enough”.
I walked out on that police officer and immediately called the police chief and told him what had transpired and that I had this court order and then went on to say that as family members it is hard enough to deal with schizophrenia in the people we Love and then to have a police officer make it even more difficult is completely unacceptable and that his police department needs to have that officer trained in dealing with severe mental illness. He apologized and said he would take care of my court order. I also said I did not want that officer to deal with our family again he reassured me another officer would take my son. That officer was excellent in how he dealt with it and said he felt really bad about what the officer had said etc.

I had become involved with police department training along with a mental health organization. I gave the family member perspective and it does help people who have no understanding to meet a person with the illness and a family member. Then the mental health organization gave them tools and suggestions etc. It’s a great learning tool for them.

You might consider doing this kind of advocacy for your area police because they obviously need training.

We have mental health teams now in our major cities that have excellent training but more importantly these officers volunteer to work on these teams. So when we call the police we say it’s a mental health issue so they then send the team.

Hugs to you @Pookey52. You must be exhausted. I hope you get updated on your son soon that he is ok and safe in the hospital.

This is what I believe the younger officer’s issue was…

I remember calling the police on my sz ex. My husband sprayed one cop with pepper spray through the screen door. The cop was pissed! He had to wash his face w water. My husband said he thought it was a raccoon at the door. Total BS.

I don’t know how it happened but the next thing I saw was my husband lying face down in the driveway while they cuffed him. He was telling them that watch his eyeglasses.

When I saw this, I yelled “ don’t hurt him! He’s mentally ill and needs the go to the hospital.”

They put him in the car and took him to the psych ward where he stayed for one week.

I think one of the last times I had to call the police for my son, I almost got put into a separate paddy wagon. I had asked for CIT, but none were available. I wanted my son to go to the hospital, but since he had slapped me and the city had a new initiative about domestic violence, they said they HAD to take him to jail.

I begged, cried, yelled and pleaded, and showed them guardian papers, to no avail. My son spent the night in jail. He was released to me the next morning and I took him directly to the hospital.

This is horrific … I sure hope you file a writen complaint about serious misconduct from a police officer.

If you do ever get a hold of the police chef about this , I wonder if you could ask him if he would have NAMI for Communities to come into the Dept to have a workshop for them.


I found my son but only because he refuses to give them any information and the doctor’s only resort was to call me. If I drank, I’d need one! :slight_smile:

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Just want to balance negative experiences with a positive one. My first and only encounter with the police was with a female deputy who was very kind and understanding with me. She treated me with respect and care, offered me options, explained why she was there and what might happen next. She waited with me as they admitted me to an emergency ward, A parent called her superiors and praised her performance.

From there I was transported by what I think were corrections officers who apologized profusely for having to handcuff me. I apologized as well for their trouble. This was in the mid eighties in county near a small to mid-sized city long before CIT was a ‘thing’.

We all remained calm throughout, although I was a bit scared, confused and lost. Often, I think energy is met with similar energy. My brother had mixed experiences with the police, but he was mostly in the wrong, drunk and brought on much of what came his way by refusing to talk to the police asking them to go away and threatening them with ‘nuclear weapons’ or similar improbable and over the top threats.

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Im so sorry your son went through this horrific ordeal , its despicable and shouldn’t be allowed . My son had 4 large officers hold him down on the bed and strapped him while one officer tased him . My son weighs around 115 pounds , he was taking about demons and he was so frightened , not once was he violent . This was his first break and he was treated so bad . THIS IS NOT RIGHT ! it makes me so angry how they get away with this .

Take advantage of the doctor who contacted you, while your son is in the hospital: that doctor could name you a health care advocate (I don’t remember the legal term) so that you can OK or not OK what meds they give him, etc. It is GREAT that the doctor called you. I felt so lucky when the doctor had the nurse call me from my daughter’s 5th hospitalization. That was key to getting my daughter on a depot injection which broke her psychosis.

Honestly, every experience I had with the police during my daughter’s years of psychosis, was positive. I have nothing bad to say about the police here, and they were at my home probably over 40 times one year. I’m sorry you have had bad experiences, but then again, my daughter never threatened the police, and she is diminutive compared to a 6’8" man acting out “in your face” as you described how your son was acting.

I do hope that the hospital can help your son this time.

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In my brother’s case there can be a significant difference in his opinion of police conduct and sequences of events and what a police report contains. We find often that my brother exaggerates, omits and outright lies about such things. It can lead to surprises in legal proceedings that completely undermine his legal defense and gets him additional jail time and probation. You often proceed from a position of weakness of believability when mental illness is concerned and in his case it’s quite justified. I rarely disclose my status unless absolutely necessary for that reason.

I think it’s wise to ask to observe the officer’s conduct and ask if they wear body cams, and if not, why not and say you will video record events for the protection of all parties involved otherwise As I recall Florida has very liberal public record laws although I’m not sure how these play out as far as the police and mental illness are involved. I know where my brother lives they can’t disclose the name of someone with a mental illness, but it’s a very thin fig leaf, as they can disclose an address and many people with mental illnesses live alone. In his case he wasn’t actually hurt despite his protestations to the contrary, but they did break into his home and caused damage that was difficult to repair because of his lack of cooperation.

PS. I’m slightly larger in stature and build than he is, so demeanor counts just as much or more than physical size.

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If only our family members could always be at a calm point when police officers arrive!

In many cases, in many places, in the United States, police are trained, and I mean Trained, to handle immediate and imminent danger and aggression response.
This is their job.
Call the fire department and ask for a medical ambulance for a mental health response if it’s at all possible in your area.

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