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FROM THIS EPISODE

The mentally ill are no more likely than healthy people to commit violent crimes. But the shutdown of mental hospitals has left sick people on their own, and their symptoms can lead to confrontations with the police. The results can be fatal. We hear what it can mean to one family and look at potential solutions to a growing problem. Also, a cheating scandal rocks Air Force nuclear missile crews, and this year's Oscar nominations: who's up and who's not?

Banner image: Ron Thomas (R), father of Kelly Thomas, speaks next to his attorney at a news conference in Los Angeles on January 14, 2014, about the fatal beating of the 37-year old mentally ill California transient after a jury acquitted two ex-policemen of all charges in connection with his 2011 death. Photo: Alex Gallardo/Reuters

Producers:
Jenny Hamel
Katie Cooper
Gideon Brower

Main Topic Mental Illness and Law Enforcement 34 MIN, 59 SEC

Last year in Fullerton, California police officers beat a homeless schizophrenic into a coma. After he died, the district attorney of conservative Orange County prosecuted two of the cops for manslaughter and second-degree murder. The trial took three weeks and evidence included a videotape featuring police batons, multiple strikes with a Taser and the voice of Kelly Thomas. After less than two days of deliberation, the jury acquitted both officers of all charges. As many as half the people killed by police in the US are mentally ill. Deadly violence occurs after cops have been called to deal with a crisis caused by disease, rather than criminality. But police training calls for the use of force, rather than empathy, and the public tends to side with officers of the law. With mental hospitals closed down and services cut back, confrontations may be inevitable. We look at potential solutions to a humanitarian problem.  

Guests:
Lawrence Rosenthal, Chapman University (@Chapman_Law)
Gerald Landsberg, New York University (@nyusilver)
Sam Cochran, University of Memphis
Mary Lou, mother of a schizophrenic son
Keris Myrick, National Alliance on Mental Illness (@NAMICommunicate)

Today's Talking Point 2014 Oscar Nominations 8 MIN, 20 SEC

The Sundance Film Festival is under way, the creation of Robert Redford. The New York Times called Redford's role in All Is Lost the "performance of a lifetime." But that performance went unrewarded in this year's  Oscar nominationsKyle Buchanan, senior editor of New York magazine, joins us from the festival to talk about who's in and who's out.

 

 

 

Guests:
Kyle Buchanan, New York Magazine (@kylebuchanan)

Making News Cheating Scandal Rocks Air Force Nuclear Missile Crews 7 MIN, 50 SEC

Thirty-four Air Force second-lieutenants and captains no longer have access to buttons that could launch 150 Minuteman III missiles. An investigation into illicit drug use revealed widespread cheating on a proficiency test.  Mark Thompson is national security correspondent at Time magazine.

 

airforce.jpg
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III
speak about the investigation during a press briefing January 15, 2014.
Photo: Scott M. Ash/US Air Force


 

Guests:
Mark Thompson, Time magazine (@MarkThompson_DC)

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