A fatal officer-involved shooting in Tulare has some in the central valley questioning how police handle the mentally ill.
Bus driver Stephen Boswell was heading home from work Monday when he says he was attacked by a stranger in Tulare about 60 minutes north of Bakersfield.
He hit me in the face a couple time and he hit me in the stomach once”, said Boswell.
Police responded to the scene where they came in contact with 27-year-old Jontell Reedom, a former Tulare Union High School football star.
Officers advised over the air that they had deployed their tasers however they were ineffective”, said Tulare Police Sergeant, John Hamlin.
Police say Reedom continued to resist arrest and try to flee the scene. That’s when things got physical
“Some point in time after that is when the shots were fired”, said Hamlin.
Reedom’s family say he was battling schizophrenia and feels officers need more training on how to handle the mentally ill without resorting to violence.
“There’s people out here who have these mental illnesses and they need to be dealt with in a different way other than brutality”, said Reedom’s mother Anyka Harris.
A large crowd marched to Tulare City Hall Wednesday hoping to make their message clear.
Tulare Mayor, Carlton Jones is a friend of the Reedom family and says if the officers actions are found to be unjustifiable they’ll have to be dealt with. Tulare police say it’s unknown if both officers involved fired their weapon. Those two officers are on administrative leave