After finishing my Sunday column about the need for requiring crisis intervention training for police officers, I was able to catch up to Bill and Joyce Ostling, who have a poignant personal story that makes the case for state funding unequivocally.
I was writing as the mother of a teen-ager with autism, but they come at the issue as parents who raised a son and helped him through a troubled adulthood, only to watch him be shot by a police officer at their own home. “It was horrible,” Joyce said on the phone. Doug had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was suspected of having Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism.
Their son, 43, died in October 2010. A federal jury concluded the City of Bainbridge Island and the police chief failed to provide adequate training — this story in The Times by reporters Ken Armstrong and Jonathan Martin, gives a chilling account of that night. (Jonathan has since joined the editorial page staff.) The Ostlings were awarded $1 million, according to this June 2012 story.
Bill and Joyce have been lobbying the Legislature to ensure what happened that night to their son never happens again.More