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Just Days After Ezell Ford’s Death, Another Mentally Ill Person Shot Dead by Police

Today in Los Angeles, a rally is being held to protest the death of 25-year-old Ezell Ford.

Witnesses report that the young man was on the ground and unarmed when police opened fire in LA on Monday night.

They also claim that police were very much aware that Ford had a mental disability.

“They laid him out and for whatever reason, they shot him in the back, knowing mentally, he has complications. Every officer in this area, from the Newton Division, knows that — that this child has mental problems,” a witness, thought to be Ford’s cousin, said shortly after the shooting.

Now word is getting out that just days after Ford died at police’s hands, another person who is mentally ill was also shot dead by police.

According to AZ Central, a 50-year-old woman who suffered from schizophrenia and other mental disabilities died on Thursday when police were trying to take her to a mental health facility for treatment.

The police said Michelle Cusseaux refused to cooperate with police despite the fact that had an order.

“It got to the point that she wouldn’t do that[come out] … She had a weapon and was making threats,” Phoenix police spokesman Tommy Thompson said.

As police forced their way into the home and opened the door, Cusseaux held a claw hammer over her head, appearing ready to fight.

One police officer responded by firing one shot, killing Cusseaux.

Her elderly mother said that she wanted help for the daughter, not for her to get shot.

“Michelle, I could see needed help,” Francis Garrett said. “This is the end result by me asking for help for my daughter. She ended up shot.”

She also wants everyone to know that her daughter was not dangerous, just sick.

“Michelle was a lovely person, a giving person who had a mental health problem,” her grieving mom said through tears.

The officer involved in Cusseaux’s shooting has been placed on paid, administrative leave.

Photo Credit: File Photo (Michelle Cusseaux)

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.