Watch: Dallas Police Kill a Mental Patient Holding a Screwdriver

The family of Jason Harrison, a mentally ill African-American man shot by Dallas police as he held a small screwdriver, has released a short video showing the moments that led to his death.


The 38-year-old Harrison was bipolar, schizophrenic, and off his medication. His mother had called the police because she wanted assistance in bringing him to the local hospital. The video shows her calmly walking out of the front door, before her son, seconds before the shooting. When she called to request assistance, she made the particulars of Harrison's situation known to the department.

The shooting took place last June, but the release of the video comes less than two weeks after police in Georgia killed Anthony Hill, an unarmed African-American 27-year-old who was not only unarmed, but naked when he was shot to death.

The family has launched a lawsuit against the department, which is how they were able to obtain a copy of the body-camera video. In a story in the Dallas Morning News, Jason Harrison's brother, Sean Harrison, explains how he hopes the video will serve as a warning in future, similar situations. “This is a perfect video for the Dallas Police Department to use in training as an example of what not to do,” he said. “You don’t yell at them — that only agitates them.”

Last year, Reason's Elizabeth Nolan Brown compiled a list of mentally ill individuals killed by cops in 2014. She ended up with 14 names and the list was composed before the summer had even ended. It's worth noting that the list was, in no way, complete. As she wrote in her introduction, "[This is] simply the results of a couple hours of Google searching." She also left out any case where the victim was carrying a gun.

Dallas police say that the department has already completed an investigation into the matter, but have not made any ruling, instead forwarding the necessary information to the district attorney's office. The two officers from the video, John Rogers and Andrew Hutchins, are back on full duty.

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}