Jada Johnson, 22, was shot and killed right in front of her grandfather while having a mental health crisis. According to CBS 17, Rick Iwanski is calling for the arrest of the Fayetteville officers involved in his granddaughter’s killing. Per Iwanski’s account, Johnson was holding a firearm but threatened to kill herself, not the officers.
Officers arrived at Iwanski’s home in response to a call about a break-in. Iwanski told reporters his granddaughter had suffered from mental illness and was just released from a psychiatric hospital. Johnson had been convinced her ex-boyfriend was going to break into the house and try to kill her. Once officers arrived, Iwanski tried to explain Johnson was having another mental crisis but matters escalated.
Johnson pulled a firearm and threatened to commit suicide.
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“The officers were not threatened, verbally. Yeah, there was a gun, but it was down,” the grandfather said.
Iwanski said one officer tackled Johnson to the ground and another shot her multiple times in front of him, her grandmother and her two-year-old daughter.
He said there was an opportunity for officers to stop the situation without deadly force.
“When she put the gun down they should have tase her, bean bagged her, took her down then. Why didn’t they do it then?” Iwanski asked.
Iwanski believes this could have been avoided if the officers had resources or were trained on dealing with mental illness, he said.
The Fayetteville Police Department told CBS 17 the officers pled with Johnson for an hour to try and get her to put the gun down and “‘get the help that she wanted.” Iwanski called the incident “egregious” and said that the officer who killed Johnson should go to jail, per the report.
So many Black lives were taken by police who didn’t know what to say to talk them off the edge. The last thing a mentally ill individual needs is an officer pointing a gun at them. Reports say the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation will be looking into the incident.