Court: Cops May Have To Accommodate Homicidal Crazy People Before Shooting Them

The Supreme Court refused to hear the City of Newport Beach's appeal.

Washington, DC – The family of a mentally ill, methamphetamine-fueled man who was fatally shot while charging at police with a metal hook will have their excessive force lawsuit heard by a jury, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

The Supreme Court refused the City of Newport Beach’s appeal to block the lawsuit.

The suit also asked the court to clarify whether or not law enforcement officers are required to “provide accommodations to an armed, violent and mentally ill suspect” under the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The 9th Circuit court has said that the law, which requires public agencies to make accommodations for individuals with physical or mental disabilities, also applies to arrests.

Police use of deadly force is technically a seizure, or arrest, of a person.

The lawsuit was filed by the parents of Gerrit Vos, a 22-year-old hairdresser who was under the influence of methamphetamine when he began cursing and yelling inside a 7-Eleven store on May 29, 2014.

The store clerks and customers managed to escape from the building, although one victim was injured when Vos sliced his hand with what was later determined to be a metal hook, the Los Angeles Times reported.

At least eight Newport Beach officers and a K9 responded to the store.

“Shoot me!” Vos yelled during the encounter, according to police.

He ultimately charged out of the store, armed with the hook, and ran at the officers.

One officer deployed a 40mm less-lethal projectile launcher, and two other officers fired their duty weapons a few seconds later.

Vos died of his wounds, and toxicology reports ultimately confirmed that he had amphetamine and methamphetamine in his blood when he died.

Vos had also previously been diagnosed with schizophrenia, his family said.

The Orange County district attorney determined that the officers’ use of force was justified.

Vos’ parents subsequently filed a $25 million lawsuit against the city and the police department, alleging that officers used “excessive, unwarranted, and brutal” force during the encounter, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The lawsuit also suggested that police should have used “de-escalation and communication” skills to end the situation peacefully with the man who was charging them with a weapon.

Although a federal district judge initially dismissed the family’s lawsuit, the 9th Circuit ruled that a jury should determine whether or not police used excessive force.

“A reasonable jury could conclude that Vos did not pose an immediate threat such that the use of deadly force was warranted,” the majority said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Judge Carlos Bea was the single dissenter in the 2-1 ruling.

“It is reasonable for an officer, with only seconds to react, to conclude that the person wielding what looks like a knife and charging at him and his fellows would do serious harm to at least one of them,” Bea said.

He added that the majority’s opinion established a rule “that in all circumstances the governmental interest in deadly force is diminished where the subject is mentally ill.”

“Whether the person who charges the officer does so out of a base desire to kill, or does so because, in the midst of a psychotic episode, he thinks the officer is a monster or a ghost, the danger to the officer is the same,” Bea noted.

The City of Newport Beach asked the Supreme Court to clarify that point in the appeal.

“Municipalities and law enforcement officers throughout the nation should know whether, when faced with that peril, they must consider not only the 4th Amendment’s restrictions on use of force, but also whether they are providing reasonable accommodations to the attacking suspect,” the city’s attorneys said.

The Supreme Court considered the appeal for five weeks, but ultimately turned it down without comment.

Comments (66)
No. 1-27
ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

What!?! So the LEOs have to let any mentally ill person approach them without impunity until an officer (both two-legged and four-legged) is injured or killed? The guilt is not on the LEOs in this instance, but on the family!

Bobby1874
Bobby1874

the day is rapidly approaching where the only safe course of action for the police to take is to do nothing and let society suffer the consequences of electing democrats who appoint shitheads such as those in the 9th circuit.

When liberals rule criminals drool.... you show me a crime infested shithole and I will show you the democrats in charge.

LEO0301
LEO0301

How is a police officers suppose to know if the person is mentally ill or simply a homicidal maniac while being attacked and having to make a decision that takes a microsecond, not weeks like the judges had to decide? Make these decision makers take shoot, don't shoot scenario training and then come back and tell us all about it.

Copsdaughter1995
Copsdaughter1995

Maybe cops should just carry silly string and candy bars....I don't get it.

JBo
JBo

Just remember that when dealing with meth head homicidal maniacs, have them sit down with you, talk about their dysfunctional lives, toast marshmallows and sing Kumbaya.

So glad I'm retired!

SheepDawg
SheepDawg

"The subject raised the weapon, screamed loudly and rushed towards my position. When he was about 10 feet from me at a full run I considered his possible mental condition, the potential for drugs and accommodated those by assisting him to the ground with two well-placed .40 rounds in center mass." The end.

This is insanity at its worst. I'm with JBo, that retirement check gets deposited every month like clockwork.

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

readers- I am getting the distinct impression that mental illness is much more prevalent than anyone first thought .... and not sure we can continue to blame it on drugs /weed etc.

Katarina
Katarina

The threats faced by the officer is the same if it is a 12 year old with a gun, an 80 year old male or female or a mentally ill any year old or someone on drugs, and the danger to the public is also the same. Officers are going to die. Citizens are going to die. Why do these cases usually pop up in Democrat controlled areas? When did regular citizens stop mattering in order to protect the mentally ill, criminals and doped out drug addicts. While these people do need help, if they are in crisis making a legitimate threat, why is it better that the innocent die?

BadFaithException
BadFaithException

these comments are like caricatures of caricatures. fantastic stuff!

Mrs10
Mrs10

As a Cop's wife this concept is frightening on several levels. Worrying about my husband's safety is bad enough without adding even more chances for him to be sued just for doing his job.

One ray of hope - The 9th Circuit is notoriously liberal while SCOTUS has a conservative majority. Plus the court has already established cases for precedent. Every time an issue likethis has come up they've ruled for the officers.

Gramercy
Gramercy

GO COPS GO! You did EXACTLY what society would have you do! You saved the people from danger...as well as yourselves. Kudos to you!

TarnishedCopper
TarnishedCopper

With only seconds before the suspect physically reached them, what were they supposed to do? They did attempt a less-lethal device, and although the article doesn't say, one must believe that it was not effective.

Yes the writer is correct, the 9th Circuit Court is a product of the liberal society there. The officers performed as trained end of story: however tea and crumpetts might have dissuaded the guy and diffused the situation and the cops could all have gotten their hair done as well.........

Storm45
Storm45

It is just an abstract academic game to those fools.

RPG156
RPG156

Police Officers will one day (soon) have to die before they can use deadly force.

LAW169
LAW169

Tattoo “MENTAL” across the 220’s forehead so we know whom to give reasonable accommodations to before shooting them. TOTAL LIBERAL CRAP.

Woobie46
Woobie46

EVEN IF there was some way to know that the person with the weapon is mentally ill, there is still only one way to deal with a madman running at you full steam with a weapon...and they did that! This might be a good time for the jury to award the asshole's family $1. Then let the coppers counter sue...always

willhunt22
willhunt22

After 40 years in law enforcement, it's this type of insanity from the courts that convince me it's time to hang it up.

Grog
Grog

What a waste of time!

Oldvlc
Oldvlc

I pray when this gets to trial the jury dispatches the plaintiff to hell.

GForce48
GForce48

This is ludicrous and potentially dangerous to Leo's and civilians alike! Lawyers and attorneys are leading us down a social death spiral.

PhillyBlue
PhillyBlue

Ahhh, pretty soon we'll have pull out couches in our patrol vehicles for 1 on 1 mental health care so we can talk to the drug raged maniac stabbing your family members instead of actually stopping him.

Gap Filler
Gap Filler

Although a federal district judge initially dismissed the family’s lawsuit, the 9th Circuit ruled that a jury should determine whether or not police used excessive force.

“A reasonable jury could conclude that Vos did not pose an immediate threat such that the use of deadly force was warranted,” the majority said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Here we go with another useless liberal agenda court, the ninth circuit court of idiots and a$$holes! If you find a "reasonable" jury that would conclude such a fabrication then they're all 420 friendly and meth heads as well!

I'd of this lit this kid up first, ask questions later. Let that liberal judge get off his sorry behind and face down a person like this for real and see how quickly they soil their judical robes.....

Stanracer
Stanracer

Use de-escalation methods on a person charging you with a weapon.?????? Sure..then you're dead. The worlds gone crazy!

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

Hmmmmmm....maybe we should let the judges and prosecutors take the place of the front line officers, and have to live <or die> by the rules they put in place.

Jbr730
Jbr730

The problem, other than the dumb ass charging the police with a weapon, are greedy ass lawyers filing these BS lawsuits. I'm 99.9% certain the family was solicited by an attorney. This "de-escalate" crap trap is science fiction when dealing with an armed encounter. Blame is put on LEO and agencies bc of the greed of a lawyer.

tomcd
tomcd

What a crock of crap. That Judge who is letting this happen needs tro take a week off from the bench, put on a Police Uniform and work a week of 8 to 10 hour shifts. Maybe then that idiot will realize what a dangerous and thankless job protecting and serving all our Officers do 24/7. If that doesn't shine a different light on said judges attitude he shouldn't be on the bench in the first place!

Maui2082
Maui2082

Just f-ing unreal.... I cannot wrap my head around this way of thinking. Liberals are going insane. And I mean that. They are just stupid idiots! Wake up!!! Get real!!!