With Chicago being the city with the largest black population per capita in the United States, we’ve learned a lot about the city. In particular, we’ve read, heard, and learned of the urban violence that plagues the third largest city in the United States. Not only did we learn that the biggest contributing factor to the violence that rocks Chicago was the fact that White folks are no longer buying drugs according to Bill O’Reilly. We also learned that not even a 6-month-old child can escape the bullet riddled streets as was the case with the death of Johniya Watkins; or that performing at a United States presidential inauguration doesn’t exactly give you the power to block bullets like Wonder Woman.
Let’s face it: things are pretty bad in the city of Chicago. Still not convinced about how rough it is in the Windy City? Heck, you know it’s bad when a veteran police officer decides to say “To hell with it,” and take his own life out of frustration because of the violence and carnage he encounters on a daily basis. Of course being a cop is stressful; and the rate of suicide among police officers is substantially high. That said, if a Chicago cop frustrated with city violence commits suicide, does it not stand to reason that everyday residents are themselves just as frustrated and suffering from PTSD as well? I’m only asking because often when we discuss violence in cities like Chicago, by putting a black face on the perceived problem, rarely do we look at it from the perspective of mental health. Instead, it’s often discussed as another black pathology.
This from CBS Chicago:
The Chicago Police Department is one of many around the nation that now accepts that law enforcement officers, like America’s combat soldiers, suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
[...] Erin Healy Ross recalls her brother, 38-year-old police officer Ryan Healy.
“I received a text from him saying that he had decided to die and that he would be in the house,” she recalls.
Erin and Ryan’s father, a retired cop, raced to the officer’s house.
She says, “I just remember my dad saying, ‘Do you know how many times I have been on this kind of a scene? But never in my life could I imagine that it would be my own son.’ And that was just heartbreaking.”
Her brother was dead from a single gunshot wound.
Healy worked out of the West Side 10th Police District. Toward the end, he told his family he was “overwhelmed” by what he was experiencing on the job: the bodies, the violence and especially crime’s effect on children.
He told his family those kids had no way out and no hope.
[...] The Chicago Police Department recognizes PTSD is real among officers and has programs to diagnose and treat it. There are also suicide-prevention programs, but the officer must come forward himself and ask for help. In the tough culture of law enforcement, that is often hard.
Watch the video: