Kelly Thomas Deserved Better Than This
Posted by CiteSimon
Kelly Thomas was a homeless man and apparently the problem that made him homeless was schizophrenia. You can watch a video of his death if you want to but it’s hard to watch. His dad is refusing to let the matter rest and he is right.
The sad story of Kelly Thomas is carried here.
This is happening way too often to be ignored and we can’t attribute it all to “poor training!” Murders like this can’t be justified but they can be avoided. We can do our part by noticing and protesting such actions, since that raises the bar of accountability for the police (cases like this demonstrate that far higher accountability is needed to protect vulnerable people in our society.)
The other thing we need to see is a better solution for the mentally ill than forcing them to live on the streets. The costs of “caring” for such people on the street is far higher than the cost of providing proper care.
Check out this article which reports a study of the costs of caring for the homeless – The article notes some additional (and legitimate) costs they didn’t consider. Other costs they also didn’t consider were those paid by property owners cleaning up, dealing with break-ins, and trying to protect their premises (and it sure mounts up in many locations.) Add in police time to investigate . . . Even without the extra costs, it costs no more to provide housing than it does to keep them on the streets, so how long do we have to think before we can work out the better alternative?
Part of our problem is we are not aware of the size of the problem and partly it is that we are not placing any value on these lives. In the days of budget cuts we find it hard to sell the benefits of providing better solutions but the alternative looks like what happened to Kelly Thomas. The deaths are just the tip of the iceberg – for every death, how many others were “just” beaten, harassed, and taunted? (Tip: it’s a big number! And yep, police officers do that too.)
We can make a difference by speaking up, asking questions, pressuring politicians, and supporting those who are promoting genuine solutions.
Stop here if you are squeamish.
. . .
Sorry about the gross image – but this is the harsh reality of what is happening. It can’t be ignored and it mustn’t be excused. It can be avoided.
. . .
About CiteSimonSometimes we find the "right answers" but maybe it's the struggle of discovery that helps us grow most.
Posted on May 10, 2012, in Active faith and tagged budget cuts, Bullying, compassion, costs of homelessness, Homelessness, Kelly Thomas, mental illness, police brutality, protecting the vulnerable. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.