Home California San Jose Police Officer Stabbed While on Mental Health Crisis Call

San Jose Police Officer Stabbed While on Mental Health Crisis Call

by ECT

On June 5th, 2021, at approximately 12:32 AM, San Jose Police Officers were dispatched to a welfare check in the 3500 block of Ambra Way. A male called to report that he was having a mental health crisis.

According to police, when the Officers arrived, they contacted the male. Without provocation, the male suddenly attacked one of the Officers. Both Officers were able to subdue the male and take him into custody.

After taking the Sean Williams, 33, into custody one of the Officers realized he had been stabbed. The knife was recovered at the scene. The injured Officer was transported to a local hospital with a moderate, non-life-threatening injury. He was discharged from the hospital after receiving treatment.

Suspect Williams was transported to Valley Medical Center for treatment and a mental health evaluation. He will subsequently be booked for assault with a deadly weapon on an Officer.

Police say this type of call illustrates the dangers Officers face when responding to aid individuals suffering from a mental health crisis. Both Officers have received Crisis Intervention Training but due to the sudden violent attack, neither had an opportunity to utilize these valuable skills.

Police said they will continue to work with our County partners in providing the best assistance to those in need during a mental health crisis.

Editors note

Last week, the California State Assembly voted 70-0 to approve Assembly Bill 988, a landmark mental health emergency crisis response legislation.

AB 988 will implement in California the new nationwide 9-8-8 Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Hotline created last year by the Federal Communications Commission and Congress. The new system will provide a critically-needed alternative to 911 and help deploy mental health professionals, rather than police officers, in situations of mental health crises. This bill will transform mental health emergency response and deliver appropriate care that addresses systemic inequalities.

“This is the year we need to finally rethink and redesign how we respond to those in mental health crisis,” said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan. “AB 988 fundamentally changes our approach by putting care and training ahead of confrontation and arrest. It is especially poignant that this bill passed the Assembly on the two-year anniversary of the tragic death of Miles Hall. I am hopeful that with this legislation we won’t have to experience another heartbreaking loss like Miles.”

AB 988 now moves to the California State Senate for further action.

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1 comment

Robert C. Jun 7, 2021 - 7:41 am

This is a perfect example of why the AB988 approach won’t work. Mental health intervention in lieu of police response can only be effective if that intervention can occur on a preventive basis BEFORE the “mental health crisis” (a phrase which is a euphemism for “becomes violent”).

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