ALBUQUERQUE - When Wynema and Michael Gonzagowski moved to town about two years ago, family and friends warned them about what they described as the heavy-handed tactics and aggressive attitude of Albuquerque police. At first the couple brushed off the warnings, saying things couldn't be as bad as what they had experienced in Los Angeles in the LAPD's Rampart Division, which became infamous for corruption in its anti-gang unit in the 1990s. But the Gonzagowskis, like others here, began to grow suspicious of their Police Department.
Re "A new look at Laura's Law, " March 10 Allowing court-ordered Laura's Law treatment for adults with severe mental illnesses can help everyone if done correctly. The most important part of the article states that people suffering from debilitating mental illness - like Matthew Hoff, who aged out of mental health programs and is now serving time in prison - "may not recognize that they are ill. " Mental illness affects cognition, the ability to think clearly, and people who are severely affected need caring help.
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Almost as soon as Matthew Hoff turned 18 and aged out of the mental health programs he'd been enrolled in since childhood, he was out on the streets and in and out of jail. His parents tried to get him back into treatment for bipolar and other brain disorders he suffers, but the young man wasn't cooperative and he wasn't considered dangerous or gravely disabled. So they stood by helplessly as their son faded from their reach. Less than a year later, Hoff walked into a Buena Park bank with a robbery note and left with a handful of cash.
Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. soldiers had a common mental illness, such as depression, panic disorder or ADHD, before enlisting in the Army, according to a new study that raises questions about the military's assessment and screening of recruits. More than 8% of soldiers had thought about killing themselves and 1.1% had a past suicide attempt, researchers found from confidential surveys and interviews with 5, 428 soldiers at Army installations across the country. The findings, published online Monday in two papers in JAMA Psychiatry, point to a weakness in the recruiting process, experts said.
A lawyer for a judge on trial for allegedly shoving a woman after a dispute over a bag of dog waste compared the case to the Salem Witch trials on Wednesday and accused the Los Angeles city attorney's office of unethically pursuing his client. Attorney James Blatt told jurors during closing arguments that city prosecutors had failed to adequately investigate the allegations and relied solely on the word of the victim, whom Blatt described as mentally ill. Blatt said the city attorney's office was more interested in "going after that big target" than listening to Superior Court Judge Craig Richman's account of what happened.
It's hard for me to even think about the horrific way in which Kelly Thomas died. I know too many people like him - lost, sick, disoriented souls who, through no fault of their own, have been hit with a disease that puts them in peril. Not guilty, came the verdict last week. The two Fullerton police officers caught on camera viciously beating Thomas in 2011 were acquitted of criminal wrongdoing in his death. Whether you agree or disagree with the jury, there's plenty of guilt to go around.