Keene Police Send SWAT Team to Apprehend Non-Violent Man Having Mental Breakdown in Own Home

Man takes highly dangerous selfie in front of SWAT team.

Man takes highly dangerous selfie in front of SWAT team – the mask was added later to protect his identity.

After resigning from his job at Eversource over being sexually harassed and going through a difficult breakup with his girlfriend, a local man was having a mental breakdown in early November inside his own home in Keene, New Hampshire. The man has asked to have his real name protected, so I will refer to him in this story as “NBR”. Running on very little sleep, stressed from losing his job and relationship, and dealing with an undiagnosed mental disorder, NBR was alone in his house and had been throwing his possessions out the window.

According to NBR, when his parents, who love their son dearly, heard about his behavior they were quite concerned for his safety and well-being. They called to have him involuntarily committed so he could get the help and treatment he desperately needed at the time. Or, so they thought.

Unfortunately, then Keene police showed up and took things from bad to worse by responding to the mentally ill man with every cop in the vicinity, plus state police. One neighbor reported counting at least eleven police cruisers on the scene. It was a huge show of force considering NBR has no history of violence, nor had he threatened anybody. In fact, NBR was not charged by the police on the night in question with any crimes whatsoever. The police took him into custody without incident and delivered him to the Cheshire Medical Center to begin his involuntary commitment. There was no legitimate reason for such a large police response.

There was also no reason for several armed men with at least one laser-sighted assault rifle and two full-body shields to break down his front door and terrorize NBR. Though he expressed to the officers that he just wanted to go to sleep, he told me he did not resist their arrest.

The video and photo he took during the break-in by Keene Police, who broke down his front door, is stunning, terrifying, and just sad. In the video, at least one laser-sighted assault rifle is pointed at NBR as police demand he put down the phone in his hand. He makes it clear he is recording, thankfully not being shot to death for holding his phone. People have been killed by police in other jurisdictions when police claimed they thought the phone was a gun. NBR even managed to take an intense picture of the event to share with the world to show how dangerous the police can be and how unnecessary their actions were.

Does anyone actually belive this level of force by the Keene Police Department was appropriate or justified in any way? While it was extremely risky, thankfully NBR recorded the situation so it could be shared with others. It is a terrifying view of the police state on display, in a completely and clearly excessive response to an all-too common situation. Police operating policies and procedures should be changed to prevent this from happening again in the future.

Mental illness is a weak point in the Non Aggression Principle, which is the principle that defines libertarianism.  Clearly in a society with no coercive state, something would need to be done about someone who has lost their mind and has become a danger to himself or others, and that something will usually involve some level of aggression.  However, an involuntary commitment process should not involve men with assault rifles, shields, and overwhelming force unless the person is actually putting people in danger. In this case, NBR was simply having a breakdown in his own home. He was not a danger to himself or others, he did not threaten others, and he did everything the officers ordered him to do without incident.

NBR is currently receiving mental health treatment on a voluntary basis. He told me, “I had a sleep study last night. Early results indicate night sweats, grinding my teeth, and screaming while sleeping. My doctors believe this is a result of the trauma and abuse I suffered from the police officers and security officers”.

The man had hung a bedsheet outside his home to express himself.

The man had hung a bedsheet outside his home to express himself.

If the incident at his home wasn’t traumatizing enough, NBR filed a complaint with Cheshire Medical Center against their security officers for being choked, beaten, thrown to the ground, and sat on during the week-long stay while waiting for a bed to open at the state hospital in Concord. He had tried to go home on a couple different occasions, and had pushed aside one security officer during an attempt to return home, which led to an “assault” charge. This assault charge was regarding the same security officer that put him in a headlock and slammed him into the floor of the ER.

NBR was then transferred to an observation cell at the Cheshire County Department of Corrections, where he was kept in solitude for another week while waiting on a hospital bed to open up at the state hospital in Concord. NBR stated, “The three weeks at the ER, jail, and state hospital were traumatizing. I hope nobody else with or without a mental disorder has to go through what I went through. People deserve to be treated with kindness and with more respect than that”. In fact, placing people with mental health issues in these places can often exacerbate mental illnesses and make their difficult situations even worse.

This situation wasn’t the only recent ridiculous encounter NBR had with Keene police. In late Summer, prior to resigning from his job at Eversource Energy, he had been taken into custody by the Keene Police after having an argument with his significant other. The police went to NBR’s residence at two-in-the-morning with a warrant for his arrest. He was sleeping peacefully at the time. The police did not allow him to put clothes on or put shoes on. After being processed at the station, he was forced to walk home from the station to his house in west Keene at 3am in his underwear, without clothing, without shoes, and without his cell phone. NBR filed a complaint with the Keene Police Department after this event. KPD responded saying that their actions were justified.

NBR is asking people to donate directly to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), if they would like to support his cause. NAMI states that: “Millions of people in the United States, 1 in 5 or nearly 60 million, face the day-to-day reality of living with a mental health condition”. NAMI is dedicated to providing advocacy, education, support, and public awareness so people and families affected by mental health issues can improve their lives.

Please share this tragic story. This could easily happen to you or one of your loved ones. It’s not hard to treat people well and to help others, but Keene police’s excessive and dangerous response did not help anyone here. Unfortunately, the police will continue to be funded no matter how abusive they are, because taxpayers know if they stop paying for the police’s “services”, then their door is likely to be the next one busted down.

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25 Comments

  1. I, also with a mental illness, have experienced similar experiences with police when having had them called on me for “suicidal ideations” that I had told a friend that “i sometimes wished I were not alive”… not saying I was going to kill myself, but so called friend called cops and said i was actively suicidal, cops arrived and had a pretty similar experience, including hurting my elderly chihuahua and then leaving me in ER for several nights before being seen by a mental health worker who said i was now ready to go home, even though i had not even had any chance to speak or see anyone prior to that or even have my regularly prescribed medications given to me during the time i was in the hospital. mental health system in this state sucks as do the cops.

  2. Yes- we should get rid of public policing in NH and let people make there own decisions about which if any security companies that they would like to hire. What I find disgusting about this story is that a person who has not demonstrated a willingness to commit violence has been kidnapped and held hostage against there will and they have the nerve to charge him with assault for defending himself against an aggressor.

  3. It should always be a defense to utilize whatever available means are available and necessary to fend off a non-consensual attacker or individual holding one against there will or otherwise using non-consensual violence on them or another. Age, sex, parent, guardian, teacher, guard, or employment should not matter.

  4. COPS ARE DOUCHE BAGS

  5. The guy was making threats. Do you honestly believe the police should just walk up to an unstable person and that person will joyfully go with the PD. No one knows if there were firearms or other types of weapons. He already has a history of violence. Of course the guy wasn’t charged with anything. In was an involuntary commit. By the way, to be an involuntary commit, a Dr. or judge has to sign an order based upon the information of the person they are going to commit.

    A domestic violence call is one of the most dangerous calls an officer could get. Too many variables that make a domestic situation very dangerous.

    Ian, as usual you have tried to paint a picture with BS. You seem to have left out a lot of information as usual. You call yourself a journalist but you are so biased it is impossible to get the truth out of you.

  6. Dear Jumping Jacks,

    This person was not making threats. This person does not have a history of violence. This was not a domestic violence call. This person lives alone. This person has no firearms. This person complied peacefully with the police. This person has plenty of friends, family, and other references who would confirm this.

    Do you think it is okay for police officers to point assault rifles at an unarmed man’s head? Do you think this person may have been scared for his life? Do you think there might be better ways to deal with someone who is having a mental health crisis?

    I’m not sure where you got this false information from or why you seem so angry? I’m sorry you are having a bad day but please don’t spread lies. Hope you feel better soon and hope you do something nice for someone else today. No need to respond. Thank you.

  7. Scarlet>Fire – I suggest you look up the real story.

  8. Jacks my sweets, looking back on your track record over the years, I expect that your version of the “real story” is no more authentic than that NPD of yours.

  9. This is good, why is there so many comments

  10. It just seems goofy to me

  11. Oh, and Jacks? This wasn’t a domestic violence call. Our heroes were caught on video misbehaving because of a Chapter 135-C order issued for Ian’s dear friend “NBR.” As the most educated person in this forum, it’s weird that you’re always misunderstanding important details like these. What’s up with that, pookums?

  12. Why the fuck is the NAP being mentioned in this article? Why does anyone think that a private police force upheld by extreme private tyranny such as what comes from corporations going to be any less physical in their responses? If you want a true solution, make communities responsible for hiring their own community police force via concensual mandate, direct democracy, and recall voting! If police have to directly answer to their communities rather than stringent and abusable hierarchies such as those seem under state rule (yes, corporations are still a form of state), you wouldn’t see responses like this because everyone involved would lose their job for gross abuse of the public’s trust!

  13. Ok it’s really long and biased so… Anyone know why he wasn’t being saved from harming hisself or others and that’s what the coppers were doing?

  14. Maybe because they wasn’t diplomatic enough? Maybe they was suppose to have the sympathetical psychology cop there… And not the jack borboo coppers

  15. *booted

  16. The thing aboot sucs bent posts is, you have to decide, to yourself, whether or not you want to tolerate the slant to get to the facts of the matter or if you don’t want to.

  17. Especially, when it’s a long post lol

  18. Jack: WTF is wrong with you?

    “I suggest you look up the real story.”

    Considering that it is an original piece and the story hasn’t been reported on by any other outlet there is zero chance anybody can look up another story. And your implication that this isn’t the “real story”. Christ. It was well written and there were multiple sources from which information was obtained. Ian writes some of the most accurate content out there. One can only wish that the media would do the same rather then twisting or regurgitating the crap police and government agents push.

  19. “a private police force upheld by extreme private tyranny such as what comes from corporations going to be any less physical in their responses? ”

    The answer is that private forces are liable whereas almost government never is and one can rescind ones funding for privacy security services. There are limits to what private security services can do. Few such limits exist with government “security”.

  20. What I’m fascinated about kk, is that Jacks here is implying that HE somehow knows the “real story.” Isn’t he just the best?

  21. kk – No, Ian does not write the most accurate content out there. He writes false truths and fails to give important information regarding a story to make it a slanted article. In other words, it’s nothing but propaganda.

  22. You know Jacks, considering the kind of hell the central bankers have waiting for us, I think a bitcoin libertarian paradise is substantially more appealing.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/24/investing/stock-market-today-dow/index.html

    Oh, and by the way Jacks, Bitcoin is surging ahead once again! Isn’t that exciting? I hope this good news doesn’t leave too much of bad of a taste in your mouth, pookums! I know how cranky you get when your dire predictions for the future don’t come true!

    https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/bitcoin-price-today-usd-stock-value-btc-exchange-rate-latest-a8697901.html

  23. So Jacks, I have a question for you. Seeing as you’re the only one around here who can afford all of the real medical journals, do you think that they’re especially effective in immunizing you from other forms of propaganda?

  24. Jumping Jacks:

    “He writes false truths and fails to give important information ”

    ..

    “it’s nothing but propaganda”

    Funny you should say that because it sounds more like what you come here and spew to me than Ian.

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