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Vox Article about Kevin Earley by German Lopez

How America's criminal justice system became the country's mental health system

By German Updated Oct 18, 2016, 11:55am EDT

Kevin Earley of Fairfax County, Virginia, knows too well what it's like to be on the bad side of a police officer as a person with bipolar disorder — scared you're about to die.

Prior to the encounter, Kevin's father, Pete, called police when Kevin, now 37, acted violently on a night in 2005. Kevin refused to surrender and tried to flee, thinking police were trying to hurt him. Officers blasted him twice with a Taser, shocking him with up to thousands of volts of electricity each time.

"I was very delusional, erratic, confrontational, and paranoid," Kevin said. "So when they came, they tased me."

It was not Kevin's first run-in with police — and it wouldn't be his last. But it's the one Kevin and his father share as one of his worst experiences.

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