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December 08, 2005



Kate, a good post, and particularly interesting info re: the incidence of deaths of the mentally ill at the hands of the police.

Jim S

If the version I heard is correct, the expert you cited is incorrect. Notice my caveat. The account I read said that he had proclaimed that he had a bomb in the bag he was carrying. There was no device to detonate a bomb in sight. But then he started to reach into the bag. When a suspect has told you his bomb is in the bag and he begins to reach inside it then the assumption is that he plans on detonating it if he has it. Under those circumstances their actions were the correct one.


No one has been able to find a passenger who heard the man say he had a bomb. Doesn't mean he didn't say it after he exited the plane, but apparently he never said it on the plane.

Dave Justus

I am not sure there is a way for law enforcement to correctly handle the mentally ill. Mentally ill people don't behave in a rational manner (thats why we call them mentally ill) and it will always be difficult to tell if someone is crazy/loony or crazy/homicidal.

Most of us would obey a cop, move slowly and keep our hands in plane site if we got in a situation like this man didn. A crazy person or a suicide bomber would reach into their backpack. There will seldom be time to determine for sure what they are dealing with, and they pretty much have to assume the worst.

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