In Berkeley, 41 year-old Xavier Moore, a severely mentally ill man, was killed while in police custody, after a struggle in his downtown apartment. The facts behind what happened are still hazy, according to his stepmother, Elysse Paige-Moore who questions whether the officers appropriately handled the situation.
Moore, who also was transgender and passed as a woman, according to his stepmother, was a paranoid schizophrenic, heavy drug and alcohol user. He was also well known to police.
Berkeley police responded to a disturbance call and when officers confronted Moore, they said he became agitated and started to scream and violently resist. Police struggled with Moore and were able to put him in restraints and on an ambulance gurney.
At some point officers realized he was not breathing and began CPR. He was then taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Were the officers aware that Moore was mentally ill and therefore needed to handle him accordingly? Were the officers trained to deal with people having a mental health crisis?
According to Harry Stern, an attorney who represents the officers on the scene that night, “police did not use their batons or pepper spray and showed a great deal of restraint. The officers used simple “control holds,” including physical force and a wraparound restraint device on his legs.
Hopefully an investigation will give the family the answers they need.