Black schizophrenic man shot dead 38 times by Detroit police, Planned Parenthood to file lawsuit

A black Detroit man with schizophrenia was going through an episodic crisis when he was reportedly shot 38 times and killed by police on Sunday.

Footage from an emergency response worker’s body camera shows a 20-year-old Porter Burkswho allegedly held an 8-inch folding knife with a 3.5-inch blade, wandering the street near Snowden and Lyndon around 5 a.m., Detroit Free Press reported. His brother, Damondo Andersoncalled the police for help and can be heard in the video reporting that Burks punctured his tires.

Later, the Crisis Response Officer can be heard repeatedly negotiating with Burks to put the knife down.

“I just want to help you, man, okay?” Can you do me a favor and drop the knife? Can you drop the knife for me? Please? Please whatever you are going through, I can help you. Porter, you’ve got no problem, man, the officer said.

However, the video appears to show Burks running towards officers before being shot, according to the Detroit police chief. James White. He claimed at a news conference Tuesday that Burks was about six feet from the officers after the final shot.

While multiple officers responded to the scene, only five fired their weapons, Detroit police executive team director says Christophe Graveline, ABC News reported. He also confirmed that the department had prior knowledge about Burks’ mental health.

“In March 2020, he stabbed two family members, a sister … he stabbed her in the neck and in the hand,” Graveline said at a press conference on Tuesday, according to the outlet. “As well as a brother in the top of his head like the brother came to defend the sister.”

“What we unfortunately found was a system that failed Mr. Burks multiple times,” Graveline said. “This schizophrenia manifested itself in violent behavior. We saw that he was taken to psychological services and released and that he was not followed up on taking his medication.

Lawyers for Burks’ family are would have plans to file a lawsuit against the police department and officers involved in the tragic shooting. The names of the officers have not been released.

“We have what I consider to be an intolerable situation that occurred in the city of Detroit, in which an obviously mentally ill young man was executed by a five-officer firing squad from the Detroit Police Department,” said the lawyer. Geoffrey Figer said at a press conference on Thursday.

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