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A mom called 911 to get her son mental health help. He died after police responded with force



Taylor Ware’s mom just wanted to get her son the help he needed.

But her home was 400 miles away and Ware was deep into a manic episode at an interstate rest stop in rural southern Indiana.

“I need someone to come, OK, so that he can get help at a mental hospital. I don’t know what else to do,” Ware’s mom told the 911 dispatcher. “Please make sure to tell them he needs, you know, mental help.”

Instead of help, she watched as her 24-year-old son was bitten by a police dog, shocked with a Taser, pinned to the ground in handcuffs and injected with a potent sedative.

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Ware’s August 2019 death was among more than 1,000 over a decade that an investigation by The Associated Press documented after police used common use-of-force tactics that, unlike guns, are meant to stop people without killing them. Many involved a response to someone in mental crisis — a challenging role officers play in big cities and small towns.