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NYPD officer (Dave Hosford/Flickr)

Recently, a federal court judge cleared the way for a trial in the case of Mohamed Bah, a 28-year-old student killed in his home by NYPD officers after his mother, Hawa Bah, called 911 for assistance to take him to a hospital. Southern District Judge P. Kevin Castel’s ruling denied New York City’s motion seeking to dismiss claims of unlawful entry and excessive force against the police officers who responded to Mr. Bah’s apartment, breached his door and then shot and killed him. Mr. Bah’s family alleges that the final and fatal shot to Mr. Bah’s head was inflicted at close range while he lay helpless and bleeding on the ground.

The Bah case is just one of many where the response of police officers to calls involving persons in a mental health crisis has come under close scrutiny. The NYPD classified the Bah incident as an emotionally disturbed persons call. According to the NYPD’s Office of Management Analysis and Planning in 2016, the Department received 125,508 calls that were confirmed EDP incidents. In many such incidents, a family member’s call for assistance with handling a loved one’s possible mental health crisis, results in the police forcibly entering the individual’s home after being denied entry, discharging Tasers and/or less lethal weapons at the emotionally disturbed person/family member, and then shooting and killing the emotionally disturbed person when he does not immediately comply with police commands.

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