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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Police Officer Kills Unthreatening 18-Year-Old Schizophrenic

     Keith Vidal, a senior at South Brunswick High School, lived with his parents in Boiling Springs Lakes, North Carolina, a town of 3,000 in the southeastern part of the state. Although the 90-pound 18-year-old suffered from schizophrenia, he was not a violent person.

     On Sunday, January 5, 2014, Keith's father, Mark Wilsey, called 911 for help. His disoriented son was experiencing a psychotic episode and required emergency medical treatment. Mr. Wilsey did not report that he or other members of the family were in any kind of danger.

     Officers from three law enforcement agencies--the Boiling Springs Police Department, the Southport PD, and the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office--responded to Mr. Wilsey's call. The first two officers who arrived at the house tried, without success, to calm Keith down by talking to him. The boy held a small screwdriver in his hand, but was not threatening anyone with the tool.

     When the third police officer arrived at the scene he told the other two officers to use their stun guns on the distraught boy. When the taser devices didn't subdue the mentally ill youth, two of the officers rushed the boy and pinned  him to the floor.

     What allegedly happened next doesn't make any sense. While the two police officers held Keith Vidal down, the third officer allegedly said, "We don't have time for this." Following that statement, this police officer shot the boy in the chest, killing him on the spot.

     The sudden shooting of her helpless son in his own home caused the boy's mother to experience a mental breakdown that required medical intervention at the scene.

     The next day, Keith's father, in speaking to a reporter, said, "There was no reason to shoot the kid. They killed my son in cold blood. We called for help and they killed my son."

     The district attorney of New Brunswick County has asked detectives with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to look into the fatal police involved shooting.

     Less than a week into 2014, Keith Vidal was the ninth person killed by American police. Before the end of the year, if recent history is a guide, U.S. police officers will shoot at least another thousand citizens, killing more than half of them. 

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