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Editorial: Society: be better

That is the conversation we should be having, not insensitive comments on how long it took some to get home Monday night.
Alex Fraser police patrols
Optimist Editor Ian Jacques is taking issue with the way some people acted during a mental health crisis attended by Delta Police on the Alex Fraser Bridge Monday.

We saw the worst in society on full display Monday.

Just before noon, Delta Police responded to a man in distress, suffering a mental health crisis on the Alex Fraser Bridge.

While officers began negotiations with the individual, officers made the difficult decision to close lanes on the bridge for their safety and the safety of the person in crisis. This impacted travel for thousands for several hours – close to eight hours in fact – when officers were successfully able to talk the man down from the bridge.

But while police were negotiating with this man, we witnessed the worst in human behaviour.

Some chose to blast images taken from the scene across social media, bystanders, according to police, got out of their vehicles, and interfered with police.

Later in the evening, two motorists drove through barricades putting the lives of police, highway workers and the person in crisis in jeopardy, causing thousands of dollars in damage to vehicles. One of those drivers was found to be impaired and has been charged.

If you were one of the motorists that was stuck on the Alex Fraser Bridge or in other areas of the Lower Mainland trying to get to your destination, I get the frustration, but isn’t a human life worth more than extra time spent for your evening commute?
What if this had been your family member or friend? You would have wanted the police to do everything they could to ensure a safe outcome right? Posting images and heartless comments and speculation on social media is abhorrent behaviour and I’m disgusted by those who did this.

Instead of shaming the person in crisis, or how police handled the crisis, shame government for not providing police with the added resources they need to handle these situations. Shame government for not providing more mental health support, more doctors, nurses and crisis workers.

That is the conversation we should be having, not insensitive comments on how long it took some to get home Monday night.

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