Posted on August 20, 2003 at 12:00:35 AM by Charles Richards

My name is Charles Richards and I am a Detroit Police Officer. I was conducting some research on my own case and made the fortunate acquaintance of Jerri Lynn of MindFreedom. At her request I would like, in brief, to share my story with you.

In 1998 I was diagnosed or labeled by a psychiatrist as being BiPolar and prescribed medications. Possessing the opinion that the sideffects greatly outwayed the supposed benefits of insomnia, sexual dysfunction, lethargy and lack of appetite, I discontinued the meds. and focused more on decreasing the stress in my life.

In 2000, I became a patrol officer for the city of Detroit and with the daily stress from the job, I decided to take medications again, though different brands and dosages. Again, same results. Off meds. I continued to function at a very high level, professional accomendations, 4.0 GPA in college, etc. In 2001, a jaded girlfriend of mine who was completely aware of my BiPolar status, went to my command and filed a false report of domestic violence against me, alleging that I threatened homicide against her and suicide against myself with my department issued firarm. My station supervisors called me into the precinct and immediately arrested me. Eventually, I was interrogated by an investigator from the Domestic Violence Unit, and during the course of that interview I was asked why my demeanor was so calm given the allegations. When I explained that I had taken a sedative prescribed by my psychiatrist, one question lead to another and I informed them that I was BiPolar. The interview was stopped and without just cause I was discriminated against and was hauled off to the nearest psychiatric crisis center and involuntarily committed. I have since uncovered that the supervisor that filed that petition, falsified his observations, since he indeed had not witnessed any abberrant behavior on my part, neither did he with over thirty years of seniortiy, feel it pertinent to record those observations not only in his arrest PCR or the precinct desk blotter which details every event during each shift.

The reason that I am sharing this with you and I can not provide every detail in such a format, is that I am attempting to expose the corruption of law enforcement and the mental health system and their willingness to work together against those labeled Mentally Ill. Concerning my case, I have also exposed the departmental psychiatrist as a fraud through his fabrication of statements I supposedly offered during the course of his evaluations and his knowledge that I was indeed innocent of the allegations via the admission of the accuser. If anyone wants to review Michigan's mental health statue, logon to "Michigan Mental Health Law" and it will clearly define the role of both the hospital and law enforcement. You may also punch in "Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox and Mental Health" and read his Apri l7, 03' Opinion #7127 on the matter of law enforcement and petitions. Other helpful websites would be Psychiatric Times (past issues) and read the mental health fields legal strategies.

To wrap this up, I, as a result of the wrongful incarceration and the stigma placed on me by my peers as a result of the breached confidentiality by department supervisors, suffered from posttraumatic stress syndrome and eventually attempted suicide when I had never been suicidal before. You may log onto Battle of the Mind which deals with the affects of false imprisonment and the connection to PTSD. I am currently fighting my department via my union since the ACLU does not handle private employment matters and the EEOC states that the statute of limitations on my case has run out. That and the fact that no attorney here, even those that are famous for suing for police misconduct, will touch my case. This is primarily because those same attorneys hire the same corrupt departmental psychiatrist as an expert witness against defending officers and don't want their future cases effected. But mostly we know that it is a matter of finance, and that on an officer's salary I have very little. Cases such as mine, though perhaps winnable, may and can take years, and most attorneys don't operate in the same heroic fashion as seen on televiosn. They want quick and easy cases that will make for speedy mortgage payments. Hard cases are not the way of the legal world today, not unless you're an entertainment personality, and then they will solicit you for representation.
I will continue the struggle as I am sure you all will. But in the mean time, if anyone has any questions concerning my case or have helpful comments or would simply like to ask about how to go about their own, feel free to contact me. And again, I am sorry that I could not share more with you here, but I will through other formats.

This was originally posted on the Fast For Freedom in Mental Health Message Board and PsychRights was granted permission to repost here.  Thank you Charles.


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