July 4th represents a time when the country celebrates its independence, and pays tribute to the veterans that have made sacrifices which afford us the freedoms we cherish. However, Sacramento Deputies were forced to shoot and kill Bill French, a 49 year old Marine Corps veteran, in front of his house after responding to a disturbance call. When the deputies arrived, Mr. French was holding a rifle and standing out near the street in front of his home. He shot several rounds at the patrol car then headed back to the house. The deputies were waiting at a distance for additional back-up to arrive, when Mr. French came back out of the house holding a handgun. The deputies then engaged Mr. French ordering him to drop his weapon.
Neighbors report Mr. French ignored their commands, raised his hands up to fire, and stated “let’s make this happen”. At that point, the Deputies fired, striking and killing Mr. French. Long time neighbors of Mr. French remembered a wonderful man and a great neighbor. He had suffered depression and mental health conditions for some time, but had always been helpful and friendly to everyone.
Stories like Mr. French’s are not so uncommon. In fact, veteran fatalities when interacting with police are so common that the State of California has required all of its law enforcement to receive additional training on interaction with veterans. Many veterans return from service suffering from physical and emotional wounds that hinder their ability to make a positive transition back into the community and often lead to crisis situations. Untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and undiagnosed Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) has led to the loss of many of our nations veterans. ”Suicide by Cop” as it is often called has become a serious concern for those that work in the veteran service community, and for law enforcement officials as well.
Source: CBS Sacramento, Friends Say Man Shot And Killed By Deputies Was A Veteran