WASHINGTON - Today, the D.C. Police Union moved to intervene in Bread for the City v. District of Columbia, a case that challenges the District of Columbia’s practice of sending police officers rather than mental health providers to respond to mental health emergencies.
Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of D.C., and the law firm of Sheppard Mullin, Bread for the City, a D.C.-based nonprofit supporting underserved communities, alleges that the disparity in how the District responds to physical and mental health emergencies violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
Tracy Knight of Bread for the City said:
"Bread for the City – represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of D.C., and the law firm of Sheppard Mullin – sued the District to ensure residents with mental health disabilities receive emergency health care from health providers—just as people with physical health emergencies do.
We are disappointed that the union would use this lawsuit for its own agenda while reinforcing false and harmful stereotypes about people with mental health disabilities.
The Department of Justice, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the D.C. Police Reform Commission, and over 80% of Americans agree that a person having a mental health crisis should be treated first by mental health providers, not by police. We will continue to advocate for a strong crisis response system where D.C. residents with mental health disabilities get the care they deserve."
Bread for the City v. District of Columbia was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on July 6, 2023.
The complaint can be found here: https://www.acludc.org/sites/default/files/20230706_d.c._crisis_response_compl_filestamped.pdf