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    This comment in:

    I regret that many of the opinions expressed in the LancTalk blog were “either-or” (either you support police or you’re a bleeding heart), or used derogatory terms to describe people who were very upset. Here in Canada we’ve had a similar case in which a man was tasered by police and died as a result. This led to a Federal Inquiry into the use of this weapon by police. The point is that tasering any individual is a high risk action. In my conflict management and crisis intervention training, I learned the importance of a number of strategies in dealing with individuals who had mental health issues. Not only combat vets have PTSD, but so do abuse survivors and a number of caregivers who’ve been traumatized by the demands of their job. This appears to be a very emotional issue: perhaps it’s important to dial back the name-calling and admit that we actually help police protect us by giving them good guidelines and training.

   Thank you for your reasoned response.  There will be more later today.

    To the caller who left me a voicemail yesterday, I look forward to talking with your lawyer – NOT!

    The above is the cover of M. William Phelp’s book on the Roseboro murder, “Love Her To Death” due to be released on March 1, 2011.  The back of the book will come later today along with much more.

About Becky

Becky Holzinger 209 E. Duval Street Phila., PA 19144 Phone: (215) 350-5849

4 Responses to HOW MUCH FORCE?

  1. TBO says:

    I have personally witnessed up close and personal a neighbor across the street who, if the description of Mr. McNeill is accurate, was ten times more out of control. He was trying to get into school buses going by, walking in traffic, banging on doors, talking to himself, very angry… etc. etc. I hesitated calling the cops but he was escalating in his angry behavior.

    The police arrived and I watched as they walked up to him. He was screaming in their faces, making menacing movements, and was totally out of it.

    I watched one policeman, the other stayed back to not gang up on him, talk the guy down. Little by little, he was able to put his hand out to the man, went on to touching hand to hand, and then put his arm around the man. THEN the second cop approached the two men as they stood there as a unit. Soon after the ambulance came and they slowly talked him into gettting into it. No tasers, no batons, no guns. Nothing but compassion.

    Unless Mr. McNeill was armed (there has been no reports of that) the practice of patience and listening works. I’ve seen it happen. And to think that McNeill himself called for assistance. My heartfelt sympathy to his family. This could have been avoided because I have seen it avoided.

  2. Concerned says:

    I read in one of the blogs that the neighbor said he had PTSD and his own daughter said he had mental health disorders. Mabe he didn’t, that’s just what I inferred from the comments. My mistake for jumping to conclusions.

    When I first moved to the area I called the police because my neighbor was burning trash in his backyard. I figured this was illegal, not to mention the soot that landed on my house, cars and yard, so I called the police. The officer said that a “no burn ordinance” is not in effect and there is nothing he can do. I flipped the “f” out. I was yelling at the top of my lungs because no my focus was our house burning down for my neighbors careless burning of garbage. I told the cop I would handle the matter myself and put out the fire. He told me that he would arrest me for trespassing. I told him that I wanted to talk to a supervisor. He said he was the supervisor. I asked if he would just go look at what he was burning because it had to violate some EPA standard. He said he didn’t have a warrant. The whole time I was yelling he was calm. I was probably acting like an ass, but I was frustrated. He left and I felt helpless. So I did the unimagineable…. and I should have done it in the first place, before calling the police…. I actually walked over to my neighbors house and asked him to put out the fire and my list of reasons why. He said, “sure, I apologize….” Growing up in a city I wasn’t used to being “neighborly.” Anyhooo…. I also wonder if this guy got pizzed because the police couldn’t (or wouldn’t help him) and his mental health took over? I’ll be interest to find out.

  3. Concerned says:

    Those either-or mentalities are on every single website I’ve seen about the subject. It’s not unique to lanctalk. Just sayin.

    And in your experiences from your training have you ever dealt with someone that has PTSD? Has your training led to successful conflict resolution? Or are there just some you can’t help no matter how hard you try. Regretfully, I watched one of those police shows about police officers getting killed. One of the dashcam videos was of a traffic stop of a vietnam veteran. The stop was for speeding. The vet snapped, got out of his truck with a machine gun and killed the officer. He then walked up to him and emptied the rest of the clip into his head while yelling “mother-bleep” (they actually did bleep out the f word. After he was convicted and sentenced to death he said that the presence of the officer and his verbal commands (request for license) caused him to flip out and kill the officer. The psychologist on the show said that all the training in the world for officers can’t stop some PTSD reactions, but PTSD overreactions are rare, usually exaggerated by drugs or alcohol. As it turned out the vet in the show drank alcohol around the same time that he took his PTSD medication. Oh, and according to his neighbors and family he was the nicest guy in the world. Sound familiar? I’m wondering if we are dealing with a similar situation.

    • Becky says:

      Noted Concerned. But no one that I know of who is “in the know” has stated that he suffered from PTSD. Rumors are flying. Just sayin’

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