March held in protest of police use of force against mentally ill

Posted: Updated:
BROOKLYN -

Dozens of people in East Flatbush took to the streets Saturday in protest of police officers' use of deadly force against the mentally ill and emotionally disturbed.

"This is a serious issue. Emotionally disturbed New Yorkers should not be dying," says lawyer Sanford Rubenstein.

The protest comes nearly three weeks after police fatally shot Dwayne Jeune. Jeune's family says they called 911 after the usually non-violent 32-year-old refused to take his medication.

They say the police didn't provide the help Jeune needed.

"They're here to protect us and to have someone reach out to you because their son is having an issue or their mentally ill child isn't taking their medication," says Jeune's cousin, Carolyn Thomas. "You're not expecting them to come in and gun your child down."

People in the community say police not only need to get proper training to handle cases of mental illness, but they also need to be held accountable for their actions.

"We have people in high places that don't have the integrity or the courage to do anything about it," says retired law enforcement officer Michael Thomas. "They're not going to have no peace in the community if the cops can get away with lying and impunity."

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