As frequent readers of the Free Thought Project understand, calling police for help with a family member suffering from a mental illness, can be a dangerous decision. All too often, officers, who are trained to kill, show up to calls in which people need help, not bullets. Unfortunately, as was the case with Desman LaDuke, 22, he received the latter.
LaDuke’s family is now demanding justice and answers after police showed up last month during a call for help and executed LaDuke from outside the home as he sat alone in his bedroom.
According to Kentucky State Police, Nicholasville police received a call from LaDuke’s family notifying them that LaDuke was suicidal and needed help. A SWAT team and a crisis negotiation team responded to the scene but it appears SWAT was in control.
Police claim that after a two-hour-long standoff, they “confronted an armed individual” which resulted in the loss of life. According to the family, however, no such confrontation ever happened and a police sniper shot LaDuke in the chest from outside his home as he sat alone in his room, posing a threat to no one.
The family is now speaking out and telling the media that the original police claims are false.
“There has been very limited information released regarding the circumstances of Saturday. Much of what has been said is false. And the police have done nothing to correct it. Desman was alone in his home and inside his bedroom when he was shot, through the bedroom window, by a police officer positioned outside the home. Any suggestion that officers made entry into Desman’s home, were threatened [sic] inside the home by Desman, and shot Desman from inside the home, are false,” a letter from the family states.
According to the letter, LaDuke was struggling “with the desire to live” on October 22, and the family called the police to help him but police instead responded by ”sending the SWAT/ERT unit.”
When the family asked to go inside to talk to LaDuke during the standoff, police refused to allow them in, escalating to deadly force instead.