Supreme Court weighs police tactics, rights of mentally ill

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Supreme Court is considering whether police must take special precautions when trying to arrest a person who is mentally ill.

The justices hear arguments on Monday in a San Francisco case involving a woman with schizophrenia. Police forced their way into the woman’s room at a group home after she threatened her social worker. When she came at them with a knife, officers shot her five times.

Lawyers for Teresa Sheehan say the Americans With Disabilities Act requires police to make reasonable accommodations when arresting people who have mental or physical disabilities. They say police could have used less confrontational tactics to deal with her.

City officials argue the ADA does not require accommodations for mentally ill suspects who are armed and violent and pose a threat to others.

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