After a mentally-ill man died during a confrontation with Ottawa Police the usual comments are coming out. Better training for the police and better equipment. Ottawa police were called to a disturbance in which a male party was groping customers at a coffee shop. After a brief foot chase the arresting officers caught the male suspect and it turned into a violent confrontation. During the violent fight the suspect died. By all accounts and reports the two arresting officers are outstanding police officers with nothing negative in either of their pasts.

Before we get into the usual comments after something like this happens it has to be said that police officers are in a profession where there will be violent confrontations between themselves and citizens, it comes with the job. The police have a job where they will have to defend themselves and others from someone who is violent. When the police have a violent confrontation with a mentally-ill person (forget about the training of the subject police officer), maybe someone should ask about the training and history of Health Services treating the mentally-ill person before the violent confrontation occurred. Was there a Doctor or Medical facility treating the suspect person before the violent confrontation with police and should they also be investigated?

There are many questions that should be asked to the doctor(s) treating the mentally-ill person. If this mentally-ill person was groping several customers at a coffee shop at 9:30 in the morning what meds was he on? When was his last appointment to treat his mental condition? Obviously something was wrong with his treatment if the system is blaming his state of mind on his mental condition. Police organizations must start pointing fingers at our healthcare system when a violent confrontation occurs between the police and someone suffering from mental illness. Just ask two questions, what was he being treated for and by whom?

Craig Bromell