Over the past few years, America has seen how police handle mentally ill Black suspects with a weapon. More often than not, it results in a violent incident in which the mentally ill suspect winds up viciously beaten or even killed by responding officers. These incidents are in stark contrast to situations when a White mentally ill suspect is confronted by police. The police often try to de-escalate the situation, and the suspect is taken into custody without issue.
Such a situation has occurred again, this time in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a White suspect held an innocent Black man at knifepoint near a busy mall. A video recorded by a witness shows the man threatening to kill an older Black man, while a crowd of mostly White onlookers either stop to observe the scene or walk by, refusing to get involved. The White suspect even threatens onlookers and demands they stop recording him. Police arrive after several minutes, call the suspect “sir” and tell him to drop the knife. The man complies and then is then taken into custody without incident, while the victim suffered a small cut during his frightening encounter.
The video of the incident can be seen below: