You're Not Finished

#YNF EP19 - We Need to Talk About #BriannaGrier

August 04, 2022 Brittany Franklin Season 2 Episode 6
#YNF EP19 - We Need to Talk About #BriannaGrier
You're Not Finished
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You're Not Finished
#YNF EP19 - We Need to Talk About #BriannaGrier
Aug 04, 2022 Season 2 Episode 6
Brittany Franklin

Brittany discusses the tragic incident surrounding Brianna Grier & shares her own experience of engaging with law enforcement during a period of mental crisis. 

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Show Notes Transcript

Brittany discusses the tragic incident surrounding Brianna Grier & shares her own experience of engaging with law enforcement during a period of mental crisis. 

Support the Show.

For more information & YNF content:
https://yourenotfinished.com/
https://linktr.ee/YoureNotFinished
https://www.instagram.com/ynfcast/
https://twitter.com/YNFCast
ynfdevo | Twitter, Instagram, Facebook | Linktree

Speaker 1:

Hey everyone. Welcome back to the year I finished podcast. My name is Brittany Franklin and I am the host of this podcast. And today I just wanna jump into things, but before I do, I wanna go ahead and give a trigger warning today. I will be briefly talking about suicide as well as the incident, the recent incident, which led to the desk of Brianna career, as well as my own experience with law enforcement, following a mental health crisis. So if these topics cause you any emotional or mental distress, please refrain from listening or listen with caution. So just to give you a quick overview of what happened on July 15th in Sparta, Georgia police were called to the home of either Brianna or a family member of hers in the midst of a mental health crisis caused by schizophrenia. And this is something that has apparently happened before in the times prior to July 15th, law enforcement would be accompanied by an ambulance in order to assist. However, this time that wasn't the case, although I wouldn't recommend it, you can definitely Google for detail surrounding what happened that day and the body cam footage has been released. Um, again, I would not recommend that, but long story short, the police proceeded to handcuff Brianna and escort her. I feel like I'm being super generous with that term here. Um, but take her by force, I guess, to the back of the police car in order to transport her away from the home. Now, keep in mind, again, this is happening in the midst of Brianna having a mental health crisis. So they struggled to get her into the car, but when they finally do, they fail to Fasten her seatbelt and properly close the patrol car door, which leads to her within minutes of the police driving away. It leads to her falling out of the vehicle and sustaining injuries serious enough to lead to her eventual death. Six days later. Now I just heard about this story the other day, and there aren't many people talking about this in general, when you compare this to other instances of injustice and malpractice, and I have my speculations, I guess about why there aren't many people talking about this, or as many people as there should be talking about this, for example, the fact that it happened in community of color, it happened to a woman of color. I could also say that this is due to their still being stigma surrounding mental illness and mental health. Um, but regardless of that, when I heard about this story, I immediately burst into tears. I realized that, and I already knew this, but I realized yet again, that people, including those who choose to and get paid to protect and serve still think that mental illness, schizophrenia in this case deserves handcuffs, mistreatment, abuse, covering up and the possibility of death. Now I say covering up because initially the police stated that Ms. Brianna kicked the door and that's how she fell out of the car. But then it was discovered later on that law enforcement didn't follow proper protocol to ensure that Brianna was safe. So there's that. But anyway, so again, people still think that mental illness deserves handcuffs, mistreatment, abuse covering up and the possibility of death. And I also realized after learning about this story, that if the situation were different, that could have been me in 2011. Now I've talked about this experience very vaguely before. Um, but in 2011, in September of 2011, I informed a friend of mine at the time that I had a plan to attempt suicide. And that friend called the police as a preventative measure. When the police arrived on the scene, I was in extreme emotional distress, but scared at the same time, because I felt like I was, I felt like I was like 10 years old. I felt like I was in trouble or something. But anyway, the two cops had showed up. They asked me a few questions. They tried to talk to me to calm me down. And then they let me know that they had to handcuff me prior to transporting me to the mental health hospital that I ended up staying at temporarily prior to being transported. I sat in the back of the police car for what felt like the longest and hottest five to 10 minutes of my life. As the officers who showed up to the scene were speaking to another friend of mine that I had at the time. Now that doesn't seem like a long time, but when you're in a state of emotional distress and you're alone and you're in handcuffs in the back of a police car for any period of time, as bystanders are looking on, it doesn't feel good to say the least. Anyway, I remained handcuffed for about 45 more minutes during the ride to the mental health hospital and during the initial intake process. Now, whenever I talk about this mental health crisis that I had, I usually omit the details about my encounter with the police because of how much trauma that added to the experience. But after hearing about what happened to Brianna Greer and seeing myself in that situation, I just felt compelled to share for the purpose of stressing, how important it is for anyone who has a position of authority. So that includes police officers, firefighters, teachers, pastors, whatever, anybody to be properly trained on how to handle, how to compassionately and wisely handle people who are dealing with and suffering from mental illness and distress. Simply put, don't put people in handcuffs, putting in people, putting people in handcuffs is just not the move. I understand that that has been the protocol for however long it's been the protocol. However, it's not the right move. I think there have been multiple experiences where you can just look it up where putting people in handcuffs who are going through an emotionally distressing experience or are going through a mental health crisis, has proven to be dangerous and trauma inducing. A doctor wrote in an article on psychology today, the use of law enforcement restrains to transport all mental health patients, unduly traumatizes, those who are already in crisis, it can convert a compliant patient into a combative one, particularly among those on the autism spectrum. This same doctor, and I'm not referencing his name because it's difficult to pronounce. And I just don't wanna disrespect him like that. But I will link the article on YouTube, but this same doctor suggests that no patient who is not in legal custody should be transported in law enforcement restraints. He continues by saying for patients with a high risk for agitation and or violence, medically indicated interventions can include medication or medical restraints. Law enforcement officers may be, be requested to provide support and ensure everyone's safety. This approach provides a collaborative solution that combines adequate medical support with safeguards to protect the safety of all involved. Now, I partially agree with that. I understand the sentiment, but I partially agree with that because I believe that one size does not fit all when it comes to medication and medical restraints for people who are experiencing a mental health crisis. And I also understand the idea of trying to give a simple answer to an extremely nuanced issue. But the fact of the matter is that I think we need to start seeing people in a compassionate light for Christians. That means seeing people, how God sees them, and then moving from the foundation of humanity, love and grace, rather than a position of power. And just trying to control the situation or subdue an individual. I also believe that those who pursue positions of authority should deal with any personal trauma prior to doing so by going to therapy, because there are a lot of people out there who have stepped into various forms of influence and power that are motivated by unresolved trauma. And it's playing out in how they respond to people and they might not just be motivated by unresolved trauma. They might be motivated by racism, classism, sexism, stereotypes. And again, those things are playing out in how they respond to people it's just causing more illness, more distress, more death, and perpetuating a terrible cycle. The final quote I'll share here is from the same article, which says we don't wanna be criminalizing mental illness. Nobody likes the idea of putting someone who is in a psychiatrically, fragile state, into shackles in a police vehicle. And I completely agree with that. I think that is a very concise and accurate way to express how wrong it is to put somebody in handcuffs who is in mental distress. And so I hope that everything that I've shared gets you thinking about mental health in a different and more compassionate way. If you aren't already, I hope this decreases stigma at and leads to justice at the end of the day, because again, schizophrenia or any mental illness doesn't deserve mistreatment and injustice that leads to loss of life, to the family, friends and loved ones of miss Brianna Greer. You have my deepest sympathy and condolences. And I know that's not a lot to say, but I, I just understand. I really do. So my deepest sympathy, my deepest condolences, I pray for healing justice to take place, but I won't just pray. I will continue to speak up for and honor you myself and others who have experiences such as these. So on that note, I'm gonna go ahead and end today's podcast, but really quickly before I end, I just want to stress the importance of seeing people where they are from a place of love, compassion, and empathy, and acknowledging, and having the self-awareness to realize that if you don't have the capacity to love people who struggle differently than you do, then direct people to someone who does, or if you're in a position of authority, maybe you might wanna think about removing yourself from that position until you have the capacity to help people. That's just something I'm gonna allow you to think about. So yeah, that is the end of today's podcast. Um, just a quick reminder, I know this is a terrible transition, but I'm not sure how to transition from there, but just a quick reminder that this month I will be doing another giveaway. So make sure you're following me on Instagram at YN F cast for updates about that. If you need additional resources for mental health addiction and suicide prevention, head over to www.youarenotfinished.com and click the get help section. Do you wanna share your story or experience of overcoming mental distress or as someone with a diagnosed mental health or mood disorder? And you're okay with that being shared publicly on the year, not finished website, shoot me an email to Brittany year, not finished.com or stories@yearnotfinished.com or you can contact me through the site. Anonymous submissions are always welcome. Make sure you're following me on Twitter at Y N finished and again on Instagram, on Y and F cast to stay up to date on the latest episodes for more encouraging content. And don't forget to rate the podcast on apple or Google podcast, if you enjoy it. Thank you so much. I appreciate you for listening. Hope you have a great day and finish. Well,

Speaker 2:

Bye.