Year: 2001 Source: Journal of Psychiatry and Law, v.29, no.3, (Fall 2001), p.295-328 SIEC No: 20020767

The phenomenon of “suicide by cop” is well known in the law enforcement community but less so in the mental health community. Although clinicians are familiar with suicidal patients & with those who utilize suicide gestures to control their environments, their experience with persons who challenge law enforcement officers is limited. There have been a number of wrongful-death & negligence suits against police who have killed or wounded suicidal persons, but very few cases involving the criminal responsibility of those who provoke officers into shooting them. This article presents several such cases & discusses how the legal system typically assigns criminal responsibility to those who survive suicidal encounters with law enforcement. (60 refs.)