Smart Talk Wednesday: Focusing on issues surrounding police shooting in Lancaster

  • Scott LaMar

A police officer in Lancaster shot and killed a man who was charging him with a knife Sunday afternoon. The family of the man who was killed — 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz — said he suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and had stopped taking his medications.

Police were called to Munoz’ mother’s home after he was reported to be acting “aggressive.”

After the shooting, protests began and some turned violent with vandalism and property damage. Police have reportedly made about a dozen arrests.

Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace called Sunday a heartbreaking day in Lancaster and called for help from the state and the county in dealing with access to mental health services and poverty.

Mayor Sorace appears on Wednesday’s Smart Talk to discuss what she thinks the city and the community need to prevent incidents like what happened on Sunday.

Also, those suffering from mental illness, may be going through a crisis and find themselves coming into contact with a police officer were often treated like any other person caught breaking the law or endangering themselves or someone else in the past.

It still happens often, but more police departments and criminal justice agencies are trying to find ways to de-escalate what could be volatile situations with those suffering from mental illness.

Dauphin County has enacted what it calls its “Stepping Up Initiative.”

Joining us on Wednesday’s Smart Talk are Catherine Kilgore, Dauphin County District Attorney’s Criminal Justice Advisory Board Administrator and Elizabeth Manning and Devon Leaver, both co-responders with police.


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