SCOTUS Case Examines Mental Health Considerations During Arrests

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether the Americans with Disabilities Act requires police to take special precautions when arresting potentially violent individuals with mental health issues following an incident in San Francisco, theAP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Background

In 2008,Teresa Sheehan, who has schizophrenia, threatened to kill her social worker and approached police officers with a knife after the social worker called for help.

After attempting to subdue Sheehan with pepper spray, police shot her when she continued to approach them with a knife.

Sheehan survived and eventually sued the city, arguing that the ADA required law enforcement to consider her mental health issues and take steps to avoid violent confrontation.

A federal court ruled that it would be unreasonable to require police officers to comply with the ADA before protecting themselves and others.

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