Confronting illness – Jacksonville Daily News

A FEW YEARS BACK, police officers in Memphis, Tenn., faced off with a mentally ill individual with the same results as the recent Jacksonville incident in which an officer shot and killed 30-year-old Sam Jarolim.

At the outset, let this be clear: No one blames the officer in the Jacksonville incident. Jarolim, whose family says he was bipolar, not on his medication and depressed about a break-up with a girlfriend, was apparently determined to die. The officer who shot him did so to defend both police and the public.

The rightness or wrongness of the shooting is not the only concern here. No, this is about how America handles mental illness.