Shot by police for threatening suicide

In the chapter titled Victimless Crimes I write of an imaginary situation where the police might shoot somebody for threatening suicide. Seeing it as an amusing concept, I never imagined it actually happening.

It happened in Utah when Jose Calzada, 35, called a suicide prevention hotline last Tuesday at 4am and threatened to kill himself. Seven hours later he was shot and killed by police, according to law enforcement. They shot him four or five times, just to be sure.

Quick-thinking detective Matt Gwynn explains: “Often police go into these situations with an ingrained mentality of looking at citizens as threats to the safety of the officers and thus feel empowered and justified to use lethal force as the suicidal person has already threatened to kill someone, themselves.”

It is not the first time police have shot those who admitted to thoughts of suicide. Earlier accounts in the original story here, at The Free Thought Project 

From The State Is Out Of Date, chapter 17

The state has various ways to protect us from doing things that it thinks are not good for us. It can take our money away in fines, confiscate our property, put us in jail, get us fired or liquidate our business. Hell . . . there are even situations where it can kill you to protect you from yourself. Even the right to take your own life is an offense in most parts of the world. I have this mad image in my mind of a crouching policeman shouting “Don’t jump or I’ll shoot!” to a would-be suicidée about to leap from the window ledge of a high-rise.

The State Is Out Of Date, We Can Do It BetterInstant download for less than a cup of coffee. Print edition available from all online book sellers.

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