Las Vegas Metro Police have released the body cam footage showing two officers shooting and killing a mentally disabled man. Twenty-four year old Abel Correa was at his mother’s house when she called police. Instead of helping Correa, who the officers personally knew, he was executed on the spot. Though the body cam footage doesn’t show it, police claim that he was armed with a wrench and a screwdriver.
Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill held a press conference in which he stated that Correa “was in dire need of mental health services” and that his officers “had seven prior contacts” with Correa.
When it comes to mental health issues in this country, we, the system, often fail people who need critical services and don’t get them.
However, Undersheriff McMahill states that Correa ‘lunged’ at one of the officers with the screwdriver and wrench, though that cannot be clearly seen in the video. Both officers, Officer Glen Taylor and Officer Eli Prunchak are on administrative leave.
If the LVMPD knew beforehand that Correa had severe mental issues, why didn’t they take the appropriate measures to ensure his safety? Knowing they would encounter a mentally unstable man, officers could have been prepared to use non-lethal devices, such as taser guns, bean-bag guns, or a host of other measures. Instead, they shot and killed Correa in under two seconds of them opening the door.
Police have had a long history of beating, abusing, and killing mentally-disabled citizens (approximately 125 killed so far this year). Unfortunately, it usually starts when a loved-one calls police in an attempt to get the person help. However, police are poorly trained to handle mental health issues. In fact, their number one objective is to neutralize the person by using any means necessary.