A Roy, Utah man named Jose Calzada called a suicide hotline early one morning, and a SWAT team was dispatched to his house that ended up killing him. It’s as if the police told him, “No, don’t kill yourself! Let us do that for you.”
As the Free Thought Project noted, the first mistake here was the suicide prevention center contacting the police department instead of a group of people who know how to deal with those who are suicidal. Police too often “feel their lives are threatened” and then take the lives of those they deem a danger to them or to themselves, whether or not that threat is real.
Subsequently, a SWAT team came to the residence and “negotiated” with Calzada for more than seven hours before taking his life.
“At some point those negotiations failed and unfortunately the SWAT team was involved in a shooting, and the subject is now deceased,” said Roy PD spokesman Matt Gwynn.
Eyewitness Ron Smith told the Standard-Examiner that he heard “one shot, and then a pause, and then four or five shots after that, that were very rapid.”
Specifics of the case were not released but Gwynn was sure to explain the cop logic of reasonableness stating, “Officers are authorized to stop a threat whenever their life is threatened, or the life of another is threatened. And at that point if the officer feels he is justified, he may act to stop that threat.”
“This is being treated as a officer assisted suicide or suicide by cops,” Gwynn said. “We encourage those having suicidal thoughts or tendencies to contact a physician or expert that can talk them through it. In this particular case he attempted to do that — it’s unfortunate and sad that it failed.”
Calzada did exactly as Gwynn advised, and he got killed because of it.
Anytime police are called to the scene when it should be some kind of medical professional, people end up being needlessly killed. The more this happens, the less people will trust suicide hotlines or even 911.