Another data point supporting the argument that too many police agencies just aren’t adequately equipped to deal with the mentally ill.

It started when a friend concerned for [Chad] Chadwick’s emotional well-being called Missouri City police to Chad’s Sienna apartment where he’d been distraught, drinking and unknown to anyone, had gone to sleep in the bathtub.
A SWAT team was summoned.
“They told a judge I had hostages. They lied to a judge and told him I had hostages in my apartment and they needed to enter,” said Chadwick.
Chadwick did own a single shotgun, but had threatened no one, not even himself. Chadwick’s firearm possession apparently prompted SWAT to kick in his door, launch a stun grenade into the bathroom and storm in, according to Chadwick, without announcing their identity.
“While I had my hands up naked in the shower they shot me with a 40 millimeter non-lethal round,” said Chadwick.
A second stun grenade soon followed.
“I turned away, the explosion went off, I opened my eyes the lights are out and here comes a shield with four or five guys behind it. They pinned me against the wall and proceeded to beat the crap out of me,” said Chadwick.
That’s when officers shot the unarmed Chadwick in the back of the head with a Taser at point blank range.
“They claimed I drew down with a shampoo bottle and a body wash bottle,” said Chadwick . . .
“They grabbed me by my the one hand that was out of the shower and grabbed me by my testicles slammed me on my face on the floor and proceeded to beat me more.”

Generally speaking, unless you’re certain your local police agency provides good training for crisis intervention and has a track record of resolving these situations peacefully, you should be cautious about calling the police when a loved one is having emotional problems. Too many just don’t have the proper training, and too often the preferred tactic is overwhelming force — the last thing someone in that sort of crisis needs. (The obvious exception here is if someone presents an immediate threat to others.)

In this case, there is at least the possibility that the police acted on bad information — that the whole thing was the product of miscommunication. But that doesn’t explain what happened next.

Chadwick, who hadn’t broken a single law when SWAT burst through his door, was taken to the Ft. Bend County Jail with a fractured nose, bruised ribs and what’s proven to be permanent hearing loss.
He was held in an isolation cell for two full days.
“Instead of apologizing to this man and asking let us see what we can do to help you to make you whole again, they concocted criminal charges against this man, one after another, after another,” said Quanell X who believes the prosecution of Chadwick was designed to fend off civil liability.
Ft. Bend County District Attorney John Healy sought to indict Chadwick on two felony counts of assaulting a police officer, but a Grand Jury said no law was broken.

Score one for the grand jury. The prosecutor then hit Chadwick with a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest. He was acquitted, despite the testimony of more than a dozen cops.

With tears in their eyes members of the jury offered the exonerated defendant comforting hugs . . .
Ft. Bend County District Attorney John Healy declined to comment on camera, but did say he stands by his decision to prosecute Chadwick, despite the multiple no-bills and not guilty verdict.
Asked how much the case cost taxpayers, Healy said “I wasn’t keeping a tally.”

Perhaps Fort Bend County (Tex.) voters should be keeping their own tally the next time Healy is up for reelection.

But while Chadwick was cleared by both a grand jury and a petit jury, unless he wins an unlikely appeal, his civil lawsuit won’t even get to a jury. Last month, a federal district court judge dismissed every one of Chadwick’s claims on summary judgment, finding that the claims either didn’t amount to a constitutional violation or that the government entities he sued were protected by sovereign immunity — the prosecutor by absolute immunity and the individual officers by qualified immunity. The opinion includes this surreal (but, unfortunately, legally accurate) line:

“There is no freestanding constitutional right to be free from malicious prosecution.”

Ponder that for a moment.