“It’s really upsetting because it was a wellness check,” Bargala said of the encounter between deputies and her sister. “Obviously, she didn’t come out of it well.”
It’s an outcome that Seattle lawyer Ryan Dreveskracht said he is familiar with when it comes to interactions between law-enforcement authorities and those struggling with mental illness.
He is representing the family of Cecil Lacy Jr., a mentally ill Tulalip tribal member who died of cardiac arrhythmia after law-enforcement officers used a stun gun on him last September. Lacy’s family has filed a lawsuit against the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, which had a deputy involved in the incident. The lawsuit says Lacy was not armed.
Dreveskracht said the officers involved in the Lacy incident should have defused the situation but did the opposite. While the Seattle Police Department now trains its officers in de-escalation techniques, many other departments around the state do not, Dreveskracht said.
Davis’ family says they are now trying to figure out where the single mother’s children will go.