Cops called to help schizophrenic teen tase and shoot him dead

Once again a 911 call to seek help for a mentally ill individual leads to a police shooting

Topics: Police, Schizophrenia, North Carolina, Mental Illness, Police brutality, Police shooting,

A 2012 study into police use of deadly force found that as many as half of the individuals killed by police gunfire suffered from mental illness. This past weekend saw the pattern repeated, and a schizophrenic 18-year-old in North Carolina was left dead at the hands of police trigger-happiness.

Police in Boing Springs Lakes were called by the family of Keith Vidal when the 90-pound teen, in a schizophrenic episode, threatened his mother with a screwdriver. As MSNBC reported, two officers had already restrained Vidal when a third officer arrived and shot the young man in cold blood. As MSNBC reported on a statement from Vidal’s father, Mark Wilsey:

According to Wilsey, as the first two officers were restraining Vidal, the third officer walked into the family’s house and said “I don’t have time for this. Tase him. Let’s get him out of here,” Wilsey said. At that point, one of the officers used a stun gun on Vidal. The young man hit the ground and “this guy shot him,” Wilsey said.

Vidal was taken to a local hospital where he was declared dead.

When Wilsey asked why the officer had shot the teen, he said the officer replied, “Well, I’m protecting my officers.”

“He reached right up, shot this kid point-blank, with all intent to kill,” Wilsey said. “Keith was not threatening anybody, Keith did not want any part of it. He was having a bad day,” Wilsey said. “He was flat out murdered, there was no need for deadly force. No reason.”

You Might Also Like

A state investigation has now been launched into the teen’s death.

Natasha Lennard
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Sonic

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.

    KFC

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.

    Interscope

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...