Are police shootings of individuals with mental disabilities unconstitutional and a violation of the ADA?

A recent widely cited report on the issue estimates that up to one half of all use of force incidents involve individuals with disabilities, noting that “[d]isability is the missing word in media coverage of police misuse of force.” People with mental disabilities, especially people of color, are particularly at risk of being shot or beaten by the police…

As in many similar incidents, police contend that Mr. Scott was shot because he failed to comply with their commands. But seeking immediate compliance from a person with a TBI, PTSD, or a similar disability and then shooting them dead for noncompliance is in effect killing someone based on their disability. Absent an immediate threat that cannot be safely contained, this type of lethal policing violates the Constitution and the Americans with Disabilities Act. [ACLU]


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