Yesterday, before Officer Robert Olsen was indicted on all six charges and a warrant issued for his arrest, I went with Creative Loafing reporter to talk to some of the people occupying the green space in front of the DeKalb Courthouse. They shared their stories of mental health as a veteran and as a civilian and their stories were amazing. Adriane Quinlan wrote this piece for CL and she does a better job writing than I could ever do but I took photos that help to tell this important story.
Bishop, the veteran who gave his condolences to Anderson, has watched as the mental-health system in place for veterans has improved since he came home from Denang in 1972. When he first returned, he would never have considered talking about his post-traumatic stress disorder with doctors at a veterans hospital; it just wasn’t done. Even those with physical ailments suffered from the care, he said. Those who did ask for mental-health therapies were “shuffled off” he said. (Adriane Quinlan/Creative Loafing)
The group hopes that if the understanding of mental health issues shifts, then officers and citizens wouldn’t think of them as a violent threat, but instead as a health problem. It seemed to be working. Or at least, no one had come up to the group to disagree with their stance. Unlike with the protest on federal lands in Oregon, “They’re not sending us dildos,” one protestor joked. (Adriane Quinlan/Creative Loafing)