Alexander Jimenez did not need to die. I did not know him, but I was very upset by a recent article in The Astorian reporting his death while in police custody.
Alexander was a veteran who suffered from schizophrenia and drug addiction. The police knew him, and believed he was having a mental breakdown the day he died. He was someone who was in need of mental health professionals, not the tasing, force and restraints used by police.
I think this local incident should have us all questioning why the solution to someone having a mental health emergency is to restrain them and take them to jail. The death is exactly why there is a movement for defunding the police.
Not as a means of abolishing the police, but to implement more effective methods of providing safety and security to our community — including the safety and security of the individual having the breakdown.
It is far too easy to look away when you hear about a drug addict dying in police custody. I think we can do better.