Police have killed yet another woman who battled mental illness. 23-year-old Renee Davis to someone, letting them know that she was not alright. Due to her history of depression, the person contacted the police and asked that a wellness check be performed. The story of Davis sounds a lot like the story of 66 year old Deborah Danner, who also battled mental illness. When officers were called to her home in the Bronx to help a woman who was emotionally disturbed, one sergeant shot Danner in the torso twice as she swung a baseball bat. He had a stun gun and decided not to use. Both women met the same fate.
Davis, a mother of three, was also pregnant when officers responded to the call on October 21. King County Sheriff's Department in Washington state went to conduct a check when they knocked several times with no answer. Davis, who was of Native American descent, stayed on the Muckleshoot reservation, a part of their tribal land. The sheriff's office stated that they were investigating a report of someone suicidal, and when they went to the home, they found a young woman with a handgun and two small children in the home. Officers opened fire, killing Davis. Neither of her children who were in the home at the time were injured.
Her foster sister told police that she hunted, and while she didn't know if she had a handgun, she did own a hunting rifle. "She loved hunting,” Danielle Bargala said, remembering how she killed an elk recently, butchering the animal herself and sharing with her family. "I still have elk in my freezer."
What troubles Bargala the most is that it didn't have to happen this way. "“It’s really upsetting because it was a wellness check. Obviously, she didn’t come out of it well.”
Davis, an outdoors enthusiast who participated in a fisheries training program, was also a teacher's aide for a Head Start program.
Details about the death surrounding Davis are still emerging. The two officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues. The death of Davis further shows that police officers need to be trained on how to de-escalate when dealing with individuals who are mentally ill. The story of Davis sounds too much like the stories of Deborah Danner and Korryn Gaines. It looks like another day, another hashtag. #SayHerName #ReneeDavis.
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