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How can law enforcement better deal with the mentally ill homeless?




homeless skid row los angeles
homeless skid row los angeles
Photo by No Secrets Between Sailors via Flickr Creative Commons

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The trial of two police officers for the beating death of a 37-year-old homeless man continues.

According to his family, Kelly Thomas was diagnosed with schizophrenia and the prosecuting attorney say the police killed a "harmless" homeless man. Defense attorneys say Thomas was combative and the officer's actions did not violate any laws.

This is certainly not the first instance where authorities have clashed with a mentally ill homeless person.

For more on the challenges of dealing with the mentally ill homeless, we turn now to Michael Stoops, Director of Community Organizing for The National Coalition for the Homeless for some answers.