Supreme Court considers impact of disability law on police

AP News
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Posted: Mar 23, 2015 12:39 PM
Supreme Court considers impact of disability law on police

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seems skeptical that the Americans With Disabilities Act requires police to take special precautions when trying to arrest armed and violent suspects who are mentally ill.

Most of the justices expressed doubts Monday that police have to accommodate disabilities in cases where people pose an immediate threat to others.

The justices heard arguments in a dispute over how San Francisco police dealt with a woman with schizophrenia who had threatened to kill her social worker. Police forced their way into Teresa Sheehan's room at a group home and then shot her after she came at them with a knife.

Lawyers for Sheehan say police could have used less aggressive tactics to avoid a violent confrontation given her history of psychiatric problems.