As most of us give thanks, the State of Georgia tortures a(nother) helpless human being

Ashley Diamond Is Black, transgender, bipolar, and nonviolent. And the Georgia prison system has illegally consigned her to Hell on earth.

Just read. And petition. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/23/us/ashley-diamond-transgender-prison.html

“TODAY IS A DARK DAY”

Mark Rippee of Vacaville, California, has entered what may be the final struggle for his catastrophic life. His survival prospects are not good.

Most readers of this blog know about Mark’s grotesque misfortunes that span thirty-three years. And about the shocking indifference to them among the social services and the members of the Solano County Board of Supervisors. To refresh your memory, click on this blog link to read my previous posts.

Mark Rippee -outside the Vacaville hospital where he was released. Credit: Linda Rippee

Mark was released from a Vacaville hospital on October 26. He had spent two hundred fifty-eight days there, the longest respite of his tortured life since June 1987, when a motorcycle crash left him blinded, his body shattered, parts of his brain exposed, and his mind vulnerable to the schizophrenia that soon struck him. He’d been hospitalized after being struck by a car for a second time while wandering sightlessly around the town.

No agency in the city, the county, or the state of California cares about Mark Rippee. The attached links detail how his sisters Linda Privatte and Catherine Hanson, both women in their 60s with major illnesses themselves, have tried in vain to obtain conservatorship over him and to find a secure place for him to live. The care agencies and political bodies enfold themselves in narrow interpretations of law and policy. The sisters believe that in fact some laws meant to protect people such as Mark have been violated, with no one inclined to enforce them.

The family has been helped, materially and spiritually, by a growing army of concerned friends and Vacaville citizens. The sisters have posted a call for blankets, food, medium-sized long-johns and lined sweatpants, beanies, deodorant, lotion, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, a coat, gloves, socks. And water. Always water. 

To simply read this sad list is to recoil at the scale of difference between Mark Rippee’s plight and the stony disdain—the contempt—of the agencies and the political structure designed to help him.

The charity now arriving is a godsend, and a tribute to the humanity of Vacaville’s private citizens. Yet it is not enough to assure this broken man’s survival. Mark, now 57, remains vulnerable to winter’s ravages, to further collisions with cars and trucks, and—most threateningly—to his environment’s rising Coronavirus rate. Solano County has entered tier 2, the “red” tier, which signals a “substantial” level of infection.

No one tells Mark’s story with more passion and clarity than Linda and Catherine, who have told it to deaf ears for three decades. Their stories and updated reports are linked below.

I’M PAST ANGER. I’M IN COMPLETE DESPAIR by Linda Rippee

Today is a dark day. Mark was discharged from the Acute Care hospital after 258 days of healing from his injuries after being struck by a car for the second time in the last year. He was taken by the facility’s van back to the streets of Vacaville. He left with only a cane, duffle bag, boots, and 2 sets of clothes. They gave him 1-2 months worth of medications but would not confirm what they were. I don’t know how he will know what he is taking or when it is time. He has been on increased Anti-psychotic meds recently and I do not know if he will be on the streets. His new Social Worker is with Solano APS and is the same one who did the “Snapshot Assessment” of Mark and declared him “Not Conservable.” He was planning to meet Mark on the streets of Vacaville to “Receive” him back to town. When we called the facility this morning to check on when he was to be released and how… he was already gone. The nurse claimed, “Oh he is not going back to the streets, but is going to the Vacaville county building!” I started explaining that he is going back to the streets! That is where he has lived on the streets for years! I have 2 people trying to help with getting him a new ID. The facility could not confirm if he even had a blanket. He was supposed to get a flu shot before leaving – he didn’t. We have already put together many things he will need, but with a bad leg and a shoulder that doesn’t work, it will be even more difficult to carry much. He is supposed to still be using a walker – but chose a cane. He will have difficulty social distancing and not touching everything he comes in contact with. They said they gave him a few masks. His discharge was scheduled for 11 am this morning. I tried calling all morning and couldn’t reach him or the Social Worker. It turns out they released him earlier than 11 am, so he was already gone before I could even talk to him. I did not even go to bed last night thinking that tonight Mark will be sleeping on the streets. CJ has been up for two nights bracing herself for his release. His drastic improvement over the last 8 months was not enough proof for the county to comprehend that housing, treatment, and care was exactly what was needed in his case. I am back to taking it day by day to keep him alive. How long before another traffic accident or injury? We know it won’t be long… and we will go back to jumping every time the phone rings.I just received verification from one of our members that he arrived at the Carroll Building in Vacaville and the APS Social Worker was not there! He is now alone and darkness comes.

Linda Rippee

The Road Ahead… by Linda (Rippee) Privatte Updated June 1.

DEMAND ATTENTION FOR JAMES MARK RIPPEE, FROM GOVERNOR, GAVIN NEWSOM & THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA!

Facebook Private Group “Mark of Vacaville”

Am I Not My Brother’s Keeper? Personal Blog by Catherine J. Rippee-Hanson

The Reporter – Family of mentally ill crash victim considering legal avenues

“We’ve lost our compass.” For California’s most visible mentally ill, is a return to forced treatment a solution — or a false promise? by Jocelyn Weiner, CalMatters.org

No One Cares About Crazy People – Mark Rippee Archives, by Ron Powers, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author

After accident they warned about, sisters of mentally ill man blame the state — and beg governor to act

Black Children and Mental Illness: An under-examined Hell Within a Hell

The ravages of mental illness continue to flood every corner of society. Coverage of this atrocity has improved in quantity and sophistication in the last quarter-century–but to what end? Policy-makers, law enforcement and public opinion remain largely indifferent to meaningful education and reform. Mis-diagnoses, non-diagnoses, incarceration, hospital indifference, and violent deaths of people in psychosis surge on, gathering speed. And no one is at the wheel.

This strongly observed and written story by Hannah Dreier of The Washington Post throws light into an especially neglected precinct: Poor black families, and the mentally afflicted children within those families. It provides a glimpse of the day-to-day crises of a divorced Black mother, Kelli, and her two sons–one of whom, the 11-year-old Ahav, is diagnosed with schizophrenia.

You may read Dreier’s piece as simply a searing journey into the wilderness of one family’s mental-illness misery, and of the heroic efforts of Kelli to keep Ahav safe. A closer reading reveals a miasma of bureaucratic obstacles, therapeutic failure, option-choking poverty, and the constant dread of trigger-happy law enforcement that imprison tens of thousands of families such as Kelli’s in the rusted chains of our failed mental healthcare system.

You don’t hear much about mental illness reform these days. Has mental illness suddenly evaporated, like the coronavirus?

Not really. It has quietly infiltrated and normalized aberrant public behavior in our deranged national landscape.

It is now front and center in the streets.

And in the ravings of pre-eminent news personalities.

And within the highest levels of a major party

In the 1960s the breakaway Scottish mystic/psychiatrist R. D. Laing was prominent among many emerging voices proclaiming that mental illness does not exist. His aphorisms such as “Insanity [is] a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world” and “Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through . . . ” made him a charismatic figure among the counter-culture. His work placed him in the company of the greatest denier of them all, Thomas Szasz, whose 1961 book, The Myth of Mental Illness, crippled the status of psychiatry for generations.

In that time, neuroscientists and psychiatrists worked patiently to rebuild the legitimate acceptance of mental illness and its destructive properties. Breakthrough advances in microcomputer technology established, for instance, that schizophrenia is a genuine disease of the human brain, and not just a synonym for “nut job”: it leaves lesions–tiny traces–in the brain; its clusters of flawed genes are genetically inherited and, to date, incurable.

Yet even as science (that fake mumbo-jumbo!) has steadily clarified the properties of mental illness at the top levels of discourse on the subject, its work is being rapidly undermined again where it counts: in the chaotic maw of popular culture, where malign ideology, semi-literacy, and poisonous cynicism threaten to nullify reason. Including reasoning about unreason.

Thus when the ineffable birdbrain Ann Coulter tweet-tweets, as she did on August 27, that she wants the deranged teenaged lethal shooter Kyle Rittenhouse to be her president (above), we may think of her as the hideous drum majorette at the head of a long malign parade, marching directly toward a new Dark Age.

It Could Be Months. . .

. . . And perhaps more than a year before reviews of the Linden Cameron shooting by Salt Lake City police are completed. (Linden, a 13-year-old victim of Asperger’s syndrome, absorbed eleven bullets from a policeman’s service pistol on the night of Sept. 4, yet survived and remains in serious condition.)

Linden Cameron

The link below, to the latest update on Linden’s story, discusses this likelihood. The story was reported and written by Heidi Hatch and Mackenzie Ryan of KJZZ television in Salt Lake City.

https://kjzz.com/news/officer-involved-accountability

Months. Perhaps more than a year.

Months? Why months?!

Mundane reasons. Case backlogs. Scant resources to investigate them. That sort of thing. Since January of 2011, the Salt Lake City area has seen one hundred four shootings by police. Of these, only eight have been ruled “unjustified”–a fair microcosm of the national picture. Charges were filed in just three of the eight “unjustified” shootings, Hatch and Ryan report.

All three of those cases were dismissed.

Nine other unreviewed cases are piled on top of Linden Cameron’s.

And so Linden and his mother Golda Barton will wait. And wait. And wait. The state of waiting and its attendant stress, for one bureaucratic reason or another, is familiar to thousands of families trying to safeguard a mentally ill loved one, or to seek justice for that victim.

Below my September 22 blog on Linden’s case, a reader posted: “I will wait to see all the evidence.” I respect this reader’s sense of fairness. Yet we may never “see all the evidence.” That blog included a murky 36-second excerpt of body-cam recording released by the Salt Lake City police department. It shows a wandering pool of harsh light (presumably the camera light) surrounded by darkness. Linden can be glimpsed walking away from the camera before he disappears into the dark. We hear gunshots when the pool of light finds him again, he is writhing on the sidewalk. Then he turns over onto his left side and stops moving. We can hear him say,

“I don’t feel good. Tell Mom I love her.”

The body-cam footage below apparently covers the full length of the police video. It lasts 1 minute 40 seconds, some of the extra length showing police leaving their patrol car and yelling at Linden before the gunfire. It was posted on YouTube by the website RAW. 

This footage also shows that Linden broke into a run after walking a few paces. The police pursue him in a 45-second footrace, yelling for him to “Get on the ground.” Then the shots and the boy’s moaning voice as he lies wounded on the sidewalk.

And that’s about it.

So: Linden Cameron and his mother, not to mention the police officers involved, probably will have to wait for up to a year, and maybe longer, before the investigative bureaucracy gets around to this case.

The great 19th-century British prime minister William Gladstone is credited with the maxim, “Justice delayed is justice denied.” Gladstone should have stuck around.

In a year’s time, pending investigations often lose their initial urgency. Public opinion and news coverage dissipate. The indignation of civic leaders cools. The cop shooting of a mentally ill boy, which initially drew international attention, grows stale in the files. The investigative bodies–in this case, they include an outside police department and the Salt Lake City department as well–tend to lose whatever incentive they may have had to render judgment against their own. The Linden Cameron case becomes something of an abstraction. Besides, it was dark. The camera dances around. Who, really, can say what happened? (Who, really, by this time, cares?)

“I will wait to see all the evidence.” A reasonable and honorable suspension of judgment.

Bring a book of crossword puzzles or something.

http://www.noonecaresaboutcrazypeople.com/?s=linden+cameron

“I DON’T FEEL GOOD. TELL MOM I LOVE HER.”

Below is a link to a body-cam video of the Salt Lake City police shooting of the autistic 13-year-old Linden Cameron on the night of September 4. The footage was released on Monday, Sept. 21.

Linden’s mother, Golda Barton, had made the mistake of calling the police to get the boy, who was in a psychotic state, to a hospital. Linden survived the tender attentions of the police and remains in serious condition.

The video contains graphic content that viewers may find disturbing. (Actually, viewers SHOULD find it disturbing!)


I counted eleven shots–eleven!–from the policeman’s service revolver, a count also reported in local news coverage.

It is dark, and so you cannot see Linden being shot. But as the clip ends, you can hear him say: “I don’t feel good. Tell Mom I love her.”


This could have been either of my sons. https://www.sltrib.com/news/2020/09/21/bodycam-shows-salt-lake/

http://www.noonecaresaboutcrazypeople.com/?s=linden+cameron

“You know what mommy, they didn’t hurt me. I didn’t feel it. I’m a Superman.” –Linden Cameron

. . . But Linden will suffer for the rest of his life. Most of the bullets fired by Salt Lake City police on September 4 into his 13-year-old body–shoulders, intestines, bladder–are still there and may never be removed. The shots that shattered both his ankles apparently didn’t lodge.

Linden Cameron. Photo Credit: Wesley Barton

The “investigation” into the cops’ behavior drags into its tenth day. Salt Lake City police promised the release of body-cam footage by “10 business days after the incident.” That would be Friday.


For background on Linden’s story–which has drawn international media attention–see more of my blogs on noonecaresaboutcrazypeople.com


For recent updates, click on the links below:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/linden039s-medical-bills


https://meaww.com/unarmed-autistic-boy-13-shot-by-salt-lake-city-cops-has-bullets-in-his-body-lifelong-injuries


https://heavy.com/news/2020/09/golda-barton/ 

http://www.noonecaresaboutcrazypeople.com/?s=linden+cameron

WOW QUE SORPRESA!!!

(As they say in Old May-He-Ho)

Sorry; still steaming, still sarcastic.

The story below confirms what I suspected from the outset: the Salt Lake City police chief is going to smother the investigation into the Linden Cameron atrocity–13-year-old autistic boy shot several times by a cop–as long as he can get away with it, which may be forever.

Linden Cameron

Somehow it didn’t pull at my heartstrings to read that the chief discussed the shooting in a radio interview with “emotion clear in his voice.” It has been eight days, at this writing, since Linden was drilled. Is the chief waiting for the deadeye officer to finish writing his memoir?

KSL News Radio interview with Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown and former chief Chris Burbank

Actually, the chief has announced that there will be four investigations (he said three, but then added another): one by an “outside police agency,” one by the district attorney’s office, and an internal investigation into whether there were any policy violations. (Duh.)

If there turn out to have been no policy violations, perhaps the policy could use a rewrite: Nix on firing several bullets into an unarmed panic-stricken boy.

The fourth investigation will be conducted by a “Citizen Review Board.” Such boards have earned respect in many cities, but police unions tend to detest them.

Maybe those four separate probes will produce a unified conclusion that shooting Linden–whose mother had called the police to help calm the boy during a psychotic spell–was an unnecessary and borderline criminal action.

Maybe, but don’t count on it. The more “investigations” pour into an incident like this one, the better the chances of a compromised finding: especially when at least two of those “investigation” entities share institutional DNA with the perpetrator. 

Still, at least one former law-enforcement officer has criticized the “investigation” delay. Here is a significant pullout from near the end of the Deseret News story by reporter Amy Donaldson:

“[F] ormer Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Burbank, who appeared on the Dave and Dujanovic show immediately after Brown, said police could be more transparent if they wanted to, and it wouldn’t compromise investigations.

“This is the mistake being made across the country time and time again. The nation has stood up and said, we have a problem and we need to discuss this. And the response from policing locally and across the nation is, ‘Well, we’re going to talk about it, investigate it, and we’ll tell you about it later.’ That is not satisfactory.”

Brave and eloquent words from a former police chief, as Linden’s story spreads around the world. Let’s see how much weight they carry in his hometown.

Mother of Linden Cameron speaks out: ‘Why didn’t you just tackle him?’

http://www.noonecaresaboutcrazypeople.com/?s=linden+cameron

DAY 7 OF LINDEN’S ORDEAL

“No matter the circumstances, what happened on Friday night is a tragedy, and I expect this investigation to be handled swiftly and transparently for the sake of everyone involved.” –Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall last Sunday, two days after the autistic 13-Linden Cameron was shot several times by a city police officer. Linden remains in serious condition.


It has been a week. We are waiting, Madame Mayor.

Linden Cameron


https://www.sltrib.com/news/2020/09/07/salt-lake-city-mayor/

https://civilrights.org/2020/09/09/the-leadership-conference-on-civil-and-human-rights-statement-on-the-shooting-of-linden-cameron/

https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/takeaway/segments/people-mental-illness-more-likely-be-shot-police

http://www.noonecaresaboutcrazypeople.com/?s=linden+cameron