North Carolina Cop Shoots, Kills 90-Pound Schizophrenic Teen Holding A Screwdriver

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A mother and father in coastal North Carolina called the police to help get control of their teenage son, who suffered from depression and schizophrenia. He allegedly was experiencing a psychotic episode and had grabbed a small screwdriver. The distressed parents told the police that their son, who stood 5’3’’ and weighed less than 100 pounds, was acting “disoriented.”

Two police officers — one Boiling Spring Lakes municipal officer and one Brunswick County sheriff’s deputy — showed up at the family’s home and tried to talk to 18-year-old Keith Vidal in an effort to calm him down. Local news reports indicate that the two officers were making headway with the troubled young man simply by talking to him.

But then, a third officer from the neighboring town of Southport showed up, entered the home and told the two other officers to use a Taser on Vidal. So they did — allegedly, more than once. The officers ended up on the ground when the Southport officer allegedly remarked, “We don’t have time for this.”

From WECT News in Wilmington:

[Mark] Wilsey said officers had his son down on the ground after the teen was tased a few times and an officer said, “We don’t have time for this.” That’s when Wilsey says the officer shot in between the officers holding the teen down, killing his son.

“There was no reason to shoot this kid,” Wilsey said. “They killed my son in cold blood. We called for help and they killed my son.”

… Neighbors said Vidal played with their children and he never was violent. They said he had a history of depression and schizophrenia, but he was never harmful to others.

District Attorney Jon David held a news conference Monday but said he would not release the names of the officers involved until after the State Bureau of Investigation wraps up its inquiry. An SBI investigation is required anytime a law enforcement officer in North Carolina is involved in a shooting.

“We called for help, and they killed our son,” Wilsey told Time Warner Cable Triad News. “No reason for it; deadly force. There was no reason. They had Tasers on them, and they didn’t have to even tase him – they could have just talked to him, talked to him another 10 minutes.”

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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