Can the Americans With Disabilities Act Reduce the Death Toll From Police Encounters With Persons With Mental Illness?

Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.)

PubMedID: 26423161

Appelbaum PS. Can the Americans With Disabilities Act Reduce the Death Toll From Police Encounters With Persons With Mental Illness?. Psychiatr Serv. 2015;66(10):1012-4.
A substantial proportion of people shot by police have mental disorders, and many of these killings appear to have been avoidable. One tool to encourage better police training and more cautious behavior is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, police groups oppose application of the ADA to arrests, fearing limits on their discretion, and the U. S. Supreme Court appears to favor that view. When the Court declined a recent opportunity to decide the question, it left open a window of opportunity during which the ADA can be leveraged to improve how police officers deal with persons with mental illness.