Cop shoots 75 year old woman with dementia

Indus

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The woman, Amelia Baca, had become agitated at family members in the Las Cruces home when her daughter called the police for help on April 16. According to family members, Baca was having a mental health crisis.

In body camera video released Tuesday by the city of Las Cruces in response to a public records request, an officer can be seen pointing a gun at Baca through the doorway of the home moments after arriving on the scene.

Baca, who family members said did not speak English, is holding two kitchen knives and shouting in Spanish.
The officer repeatedly shouts at her in English to “drop the knife,” “drop the fucking knife,” “do it now.” After 38 seconds, he tells her to “put the fucking knife down” and fires two shots at her.

She died at the scene.



Not sure how I feel about this. Too many times the excuse they had a gun is used to justify police shootings. This time it was just 2 knives and she didn't lunge at him from what I saw.

The cop could handled it better for sure.. but at the end of the day.. dementia destroys people and they're not who they were anymore.

Definitely more training is needed when dealing with knives vs guns especially in mental health situations!
 

esquared

Forum Director & Omnipotent Overlord
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Oct 8, 2000
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Cops should not respond to mental health calls. At least they need a mental health person with them at the minimum on these calls.

I remember a story where a cop shot a four ft nine inch woman with a vegetable peeler. It was ruled a good shoot.

The cop felt threatened by her and called it a cleaver. One shot through the heart.


She too, was mentally ill.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
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Cops should not respond to mental health calls. At least they need a mental health person with them at the minimum on these calls.
Are you trying to get the mental health person killed as well?
Not sure who would volunteer to disarm people. Off duty / ex special forces?
 

Pipeline 1010

Golden Member
Dec 2, 2005
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Are you trying to get the mental health person killed as well?
Not sure who would volunteer to disarm people. Off duty / ex special forces?
There are programs all over (Seattle, Devnver, etc....) where a mental health care worker is called for minor cases. They have MASSIVE success rates.

This case probably wouldn't qualify for that since there were weapons involved. This was a tough situation but what else can you do if someone is advancing on you with knives?
 
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mxnerd

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American polices are trained this way and the only way to solve situation like this. It's pathetic.

How harmful could be an old woman stood where she stood with a knife? You have a lot of time to respond.

Where are negotiators we saw on TV or movies? All I see is a paranoid police and stupidity.
 
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VW MAN

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Jun 27, 2020
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Are you trying to get the mental health person killed as well?
Not sure who would volunteer to disarm people. Off duty / ex special forces?
So you're saying it's better to kill people with mental issues rather then send in a mental health professional to diffuse the situation. These are pretty much the only 2 options here.
 

Pipeline 1010

Golden Member
Dec 2, 2005
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American polices are trained this way and the only way to solve situation like this. It's pathetic.

How harmful could be an old woman stood where she stood with a knife? You have a lot of time to respond.

Where are negotiators we saw on TV or movies? Stupidity is all I see.
I generally hate how cops handle most things. This is the wrong situation to criticize. Did you see the video? She wasn't very far away and she started advancing. So many times I've felt like cops behaved in cowardly, emotional, angry ways and this isn't it.
 

Pipeline 1010

Golden Member
Dec 2, 2005
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So you're saying it's better to kill people with mental issues rather then send in a mental health professional to diffuse the situation. These are pretty much the only 2 options here.
Mental health professionals aren't sent to situations with weapons involved. Maybe there could be a hybrid cop + mental health professional approach, but I haven't heard of that being attempted yet. I wonder if that could be explored/attempted?
 

mxnerd

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Jul 6, 2007
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She's got a knife, not a gun. And she is old. Don't tell me a trained police don't have time to respond.

UK police don't even have guns.

American police don't have any basic negotiation skill and only know how to escalate the situation and make it worse.

How much time did the police encounter the old woman until he shooted her? Fxxking 45 seconds!

All he did is shouting and shouting and killed her. So easy. What if she is your mom or grandma?
 
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esquared

Forum Director & Omnipotent Overlord
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Are you trying to get the mental health person killed as well?
Not sure who would volunteer to disarm people. Off duty / ex special forces?
Did you forget /s?
Fucking cops don't know jack about mental health.
Look how many they have executed over the years.

All they say is "I feared for my life". Boom boom.
Case closed.
 

VW MAN

Senior member
Jun 27, 2020
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Mental health professionals aren't sent to situations with weapons involved. Maybe there could be a hybrid cop + mental health professional approach, but I haven't heard of that being attempted yet. I wonder if that could be explored/attempted?
Mental health professionals going to scenes like this one instead of trigger happy cops is literally a huge chunk of the improperly named defund the police movement.
 

EduCat

Senior member
Feb 28, 2012
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Mental health professionals aren't sent to situations with weapons involved. Maybe there could be a hybrid cop + mental health professional approach, but I haven't heard of that being attempted yet. I wonder if that could be explored/attempted?
He could have simply created some distance between them. Major fail the LEO is equally as mental, if not worse.
 

brycejones

Lifer
Oct 18, 2005
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Did you forget /s?
Fucking cops don't know jack about mental health.
Look how many they have executed over the years.

All they say is "I feared for my life". Boom boom.
Case closed.
Jaskalas has changed a lot over the years but is still very much in the comply or die camp. He didn’t forget the /s.
 
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pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
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Why don't Cops have a Shield? At least have one available for these types of situations. Or do more Hand to Hand training and less Shooting.
Seems like there would have been multiple ways to disarm this woman without using a gun. Riot shield, pepper spray, etc.
 
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eelw

Diamond Member
Dec 4, 1999
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Not watching the video. But okay fine she was approaching the cop. Idiot is allowed to back up. And where’s their club to just bat the knife away. Only if she was attempting to attack one of her family members when it would have been justified to shoot.
 

TheVrolok

Lifer
Dec 11, 2000
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I generally hate how cops handle most things. This is the wrong situation to criticize. Did you see the video? She wasn't very far away and she started advancing. So many times I've felt like cops behaved in cowardly, emotional, angry ways and this isn't it.
Wait.. Spending a total of what, 45 seconds, screaming and cursing and then killing her is not cowardly, emotional, or angry? Are you out of your mind? Dude failed de-escalation 101 hard.

Now I won't downplay the risk of knives at that range, the advantage of a firearm is significantly mitigated, but there were so many potential options and he did absolutely nothing but stand his ground, yell, and shoot.
 
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Jaskalas has changed a lot over the years but is still very much in the comply or die camp. He didn’t forget the /s.
He has not. Its just that every so often he realizes what a fucking psychopath he comes off as and understands that makes people ignore his bullshit so he pretends to not support right wing psychopathy, but then he constantly still does. He just sometimes simultaneously pretends to be critical of them so he can buoy his bullshit both sides idiocy.
 
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SteveGrabowski

Diamond Member
Oct 20, 2014
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Cops should not respond to mental health calls. At least they need a mental health person with them at the minimum on these calls.

I remember a story where a cop shot a four ft nine inch woman with a vegetable peeler. It was ruled a good shoot.

The cop felt threatened by her and called it a cleaver. One shot through the heart.


She too, was mentally ill.
Those fucking settlements need to be paid out of the police union's fund. Such bullshit that taxpayers have to keep directly paying and enabling trigger happy cops.
 

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