Call a friend, not the cops

According to USA Today, people with mental illness are 16 times
more likely to be killed by police. According to statistics
compiled by The Washington Post since Jan 2015, 744 of the
3011 *reported* victims of police killings showed signs of mental
illness. And according to an NBC report from 2014, nearly half of
all people who die at the hands of police have a disability.

Police departments have only limited, informal training on how to
de-escalate sensitive situations and they typically have a very
small number of registered social workers or medical
professionals (called “co-responders”) on staff, if there are any
at all. And despite recent extreme funding increases for KCPD,
the number of officers has decreased by at least 8% since 2013.
As a result, response times have increased in some cases to
between 1 hour and 1 1I2 hours, even in cases of violent crimes.
With 149 homicides, 2017 was the deadliest year in KC since
1992.

But cops aren’t just a threat to disabled people and the mentally
ill people. They’re a threat to everyone in our communities. There
is a simple explanation for this: COPS ARE TRAINED KILLERS.
Every time you think of dialing 9-1-1, ask yourself “is this worth
someone’s life?” If your friend ODs or your partner has a heart
attack, will an EMT arrive at your door with a medkit and a will to
help? Or will it be a cop with a license to kill or lock humans in
cages? If your neighbor shoots off fireworks in the middle of the
night, or their dog is barking, talk to them, ask them to stop. Your
neighbors are people, just like you. Get to know them. Be a good
neighbor. Learn the needs and conditions of the people in your
community because it’s their community too.

In order to make a life for ourselves without having to rely
on the cops, we need to start relying on each other. But
one of the biggest problems with the way society is
constructed is that we feel we have to put ourselves and
our families above everyone else. Work, school, and the
daily grind isolates us. But we can fight it in some very
simple ways. Here are some ideas for how to get to know
your neighbors.

— If you live in an apartment, find common areas such as
dog parks or smoking areas, and be there even if you don’t
have a dog or smoke.

— Help them carry groceries or do yard work.

— Potluck. Food is the great unifier

— Start a text chain, email chain, or social media group and
add your neighbors to it. Call it something like
“Neighborhood Rapid Response”. Signal is a good
messaging app if you have a smartphone. GroupMe works
with non-smartphones as well.

— Add these numbers to your phone (even if you may not
encounter these problems personally, they could help
someone you know):
-National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
-Love Is Respect (Dating Abuse Hotline):
Call: 866-331-9474 txt: loveis to 22522
-National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
-Compassionate Ear: 913-281-2251
-National Drug Abuse Helpline: 1-877-899-9321
-If you have a companion animal that you need to keep
safe, but can’t take with you, please call KC Pet Project:
call: 816-513-9821 email: contactkcpp@kcmo.org

call a friend not the cops (PDF)

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