Cops shouldn’t be above the Americans with Disabilities Act


In 2008, a San Francisco social worker named Heath Hodge called the local police department. A patient of Mr. Hodge’s, Teresa Sheehan, had stopped taking her medicine for schizoaffective disorder and was exhibiting odd behaviors. Hodge wanted to transport Sheehan and needed assistance. According to a civil lawsuit filed in 2009, when the SFPD arrived at Conrad House, the group home for the mentally ill that Sheehan lived in, instead of a peaceful escort, responding officers Katharine Holder and Kimberly Reynolds entered Sheehan’s room shouting, with their guns drawn.

Sheehan’s civil suit has been appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, which will issue a decision later this spring; it alleges that the officers violated SF Police Department policy and “reasonable accommodations” protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when they kicked the doors down and lead with a pepper spray burst. According to the ADA, police should be trained “

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