16 y.o.'s mom took him to the ER for mental health help. He got assaulted by police instead

A surveillance video reveals a disturbing scene in front of a hospital ER in North Carolina when a teen with apparent mental health issues was assaulted by the people who were called to help.


Jessica Long took her 16-year-old to the ER when she became worried about his mental health state. He was angry when they arrived and didn't want to be there, so Long asked the hospital security to help get him into the building so he could be seen.

Getting an angry teen who is in the midst of a mental health crisis to do something they don't want to do is definitely a challenge. However, what transpired after the security guard was unsuccessful in getting him to go in is completely unacceptable.

In the surveillance video, you can see the teen is agitated as they try to convince him to go into the hospital. He pushes his mother and resists attempts by the security guard to restrain him. The guard shoves the teen at one point, which seems more like an emotional reaction than a reasonable attempt to restrain him, but that's only the beginning.

After the teen appears to calm down, he is walked back to the car by another security officer. The teen tries to grab his mother's arm at one point, but other than that, appears unthreatening. We can't hear what he says, but we can see a security officer come up to him from behind and throw him on the ground so hard his mouth bleeds. For the next five minutes, the two security officers pin him to the ground, attempting to restrain him.

"I was in shock! I didn't know what to do," Long told WBTV. "I was just kind of helpless to do much of anything."

Again, this is a teen having a mental health episode, whose mother brought him to the hospital for help.

There is often gray area in videos of police interactions with the public. We can't always assess what kind of threat an officer perceives in the moment, but there are times when there's no reasonable explanation for an officer's actions. What happened next, after the police arrived, is one of those times.

After the boy was restrained and had his hands cuffed behind him, the security officers sat him up on the curb. As a sheriff's deputy leaned toward him, the teen spat bloody saliva at him.

Now obviously, spitting at a police officer is not okay. But let's remember, this is a teen who had been taken to the hospital because he was having a mental health crisis. And he had blood in his mouth because he had had his face shoved into the pavement by security.

The deputy responded to the spitting by immediately punching the teen—who had his hands tied behind him—in the face, twice. Other officers intervened quickly and pulled the overreacting deputy away to calm him down.

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There's no way to spin what we see in the video as anything other than an officer losing control on a mentally ill teenager. But that didn't stop Lincoln County Sheriff Bill Beam from saying that the incident wasn't a problem.

"Deputy Polson had a reaction to a felonious assault," Beam said. "Spitting in a law enforcement officer's face—spitting blood in a law enforcement officer's —is a felonious assault and he had a right to stop that assault from occurring."

A WBTV reporter said,"Your deputy punched a 16-year-old with his hands handcuffed behind his back, twice. Is that an appropriate use of force?"

"All I saw was once and he was pushing him back away," Beam responded.

Umm, did he see the same video we did? (The news report above shows the assault, but the entire surveillance video can be viewed in its entirety in this WBTV article.)

An executive at the hospital, Maureen Swick, defended how the hospital security guards handled the situation.

"The actions that the officers took to keep others safe and to keep him safe were appropriate," Swick said.

The teen was arrested that night and charged with felony assault on a law enforcement officer and multiple misdemeanors. He was taken to the hospital by a mother who wanted to get him help, and he ended up juvenile detention for eight days.

"The people that I thought were going to help, they did nothing but make it worse," Long said.

There's obviously something wrong when a teen is taken to the hospital for mental health reasons and ends up being assaulted by a cop. We need to insist that people charged with protecting citizens are either screened or trained well enough to not lose their cool and assault a mentally ill minor for spitting. We need to invest more resources into mental health so that we can hopefully avoid situations like this to begin with, or know better how to handle a behavioral issue stemming from mental illness. And we definitely need to make sure that people are held accountable when they violate codes of conduct and use excessive force, especially when someone is clearly in need of help.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via Hennepin County Sheriff

The verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minnesota police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, has many breathing a sigh of relief. Even though the disturbing video evidence of Floyd dying under Chauvin's knee is impossible to refute, it's incredibly hard to convict an officer of murder.

The United States judicial system is so preferential to law enforcement that even though the world saw murder in broad daylight, many were skeptical of whether he'd be convicted.

"Most people, I think, believe that it's a slam dunk," David Harris, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh and an expert in policing, told the Washington Post before the trial. "But he said, "the reality of the law and the legal system is, it's just not."

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.