INTRODUCE BILL: MUSAALIH'S LAW TAKE MENTALLY ILL GROUP HOME RESIDENTS HOSPITAL BEFORE JAIL
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My son Musaalih Kerr died March 5, 2016 after being arrested and put in Oakland County Jail without medicatreatment even though he was arrested at a facility for the mentally ill and place there by court appointed guardian law office appointed by the state.
Although he was taken from jail by ambulance, shocked back to life or more accurately a living nightmare, plugged into a ventilator for three months he died in that jail cell on that cold day in December because he never breathed on his own again. The ventilator breathed for him for 90 days. In his last days on earth he was unable to move and his only activity was staring at the clock on the wall as his life slipped away. The last breathe he took on his own was in jail so the jail needs to provide some answers. It has been over a year and the only call I got from the authorities is a call to ask me why he wasn't in court. He was taken to hospital by the jail. How come they didn't know he died? I am asking you to pass Musaalih's Law so that mentally ill group home residence and those living with their families are taken to a hospital to be stabalized at least before being thrown in a cell. I also request an investigation into the death of Musaalih Kerr. Why did he walk into jail and left in an ambulance as a quadepligic with trauma to his spine?
In my opinion jail is not the appropriate place for the mentally ill. Michigan does not have a state hospital so if someone has a family member that is a danger to himself or others there is nothing one can do. No actions are taken until the mentally ill person commits a crime. Lack of resources for the mentally ill is a factor in crime stats and race does play a role in who gets resources. Although I work, pay taxes and owned a home; attempting to get help was a daily struggle. The last time Musaalih was arrested he already had a long paper trail that verified he was mentally ill. For one the police arrested him at a group home for mentally ill residents; if that wasn't a clue, at the time of his arrest he had a legal guardian appointed by Michigan Probate Court due to mentallyincompetent caused by schizophrenia. Also prior to his last arrest which preceded his death Musaalih lived in Lake Park Nursing home in Wakengen Illinois for four years. In his life he has been charged with resisting arrest for running three feet. The police officers were informed he had a mental illness but they always took him to jail, never to a hospital. I feel if the arresting officers would have taken him to a hospital at least to be stabalized first he would be alive today. Police Officers are not Social Workers and I am not advocating to burden them with judgement calls on whether a suspect is mentally ill. However, treating those in residence for the mentally ill like they are mentally ill means that there is no guess work for the police in these instances.
The jail staff also were neglectful to watch my son die for months and not take him to a hospital until it was too late. Taking him to hospital too late, staved, dehydrated do not count as compassion in my opinion.
In his short life Musaalih probably had close to twenty hospitalizations due to schizophrenia. Although medical experts say that there is no cure for schizophrenia, everytime my son ended up in jail the judge act like a jail sentence would cure the uncureable. So he suffered in a cold cell and died alone. Pass Musaalih's Law so that it will be mandatory for police to take mentally ill group home residents to hospital first to be stabalized before throwing them in jail. Some are having seizures and shouldn't be left to die in that state, a waking nightmare. Jail staff are not adequate to treat the mentally ill and putting this burden on jail staff is not fair to them or mentally ill persons. Musaalih's Law will not bring my son back but hopefully prevent another person from suffering the same fate as him and another family from suffering the heartache of losing their love one in this way. Musaalih walked into jail but never walked out. By the time he got to the hospital he was quadepligic, unable to move anything except his eyes and mouth. Unable to speak, breathe or eat. Cause of death on his death certificate says blunt force trauma to the spine, cause unknown. So this could be murder that is being ignored. I hope to shine light on his case. Thank you
Before he died part of Musaalih's journey was featured on Dan Rather Presents Bus Ticket to Nowhere. The Mental Health Crisis in America. You can watch at link below. Thank you for your support in memory of my late son, Musaalih Kerr.
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