I have been thinking a lot about police & wellness checks, particularly this incident about 10 or 12 years ago in the DTES

It was about 8 pm & I was walking near columbia and hastings with three elders. We heard loud yelling from the top of the roof of a building

We rushed to the building to get in but couldn't as no one was at the front to let us in. A crowd was starting to gather in front. From sounds & words we could make out, it seemed the person was in a crisis and going to jump.

By that time 911 had been called, and cops arrived.
They proceeded to push everyone away, taped off the front, blocked intersection. Cops that went thru building were armed. At one point we asked each other "are they pulling out safety gear in case person jumps" (the bouncy material we had seen used before), but no, it was weapons
Three of us argued with police that we worked in neighborhood & were better suited at de-escalation and crisis support. They told us they couldnt let us through as it was safety issue, even as we insisted we weren't worried about our safety, and *obviously* police were escalating
Cops threatened us with arrest, shoved us to ground, pushed us back a whole block, cordoned off additional whole block.

There was 50-100 ppl from neighbourhood gathered- some worried about person on the roof, others upset about block being blocked, and everyone angry about cops.
It was past midnight before streets opened up again & we never found out what exactly happened on the roof. To be clear, I think person lived to see another day, but that is a glimpse of what happens when cops intervene in mental health crisis, especially in oppressed communities
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