A Mentally Ill Tulsan has come forward to seek a repair of his damaged reputation. Damaged by the on-air comments of the Tulsa PD gang unit on national TV.
Randy Wallace is a man in stable recovery from a serious mental illness called bipolar disorder. He has two small children at home and he works steady to provide for them. He has a solid mental health treatment team and he credits them for restoring his life.
But there's also another Randy Wallace with a rap sheet and there's some indication that the confusion of a young police officer may have harmed Mr. Wallace.
Marc Lewis of We The People Oklahoma responded to Mr Wallace's request for help. Lewis called on his reliable friend and counselor, Laurie Phillips.
The blonde attorney, Laurie Uhl Phillips is a good friend of mine and my family. She's done pro-bono cases for some mentally ill homeless Tulsans when asked. She's also the attorney who guilded the effort to bring Sheriff Stanley Glanz before a grand jury. Civil Liberty is something she's committed to defending.
On a side note; there are many mentally ill Oklahomans in successful recovery and relying on effective medications. Some are being prosecuted for using pill organizer boxes. They are getting arrested for not using the original bottles. Oklahoma law demands that they not leave the home with any prescription medications outside of the original bottles.
I have sought to intervene on behalf on one elderly couple whose son finally reached a level of recovery to resume truck driving. He eventually got stopped in Dallas and the cop arrested him for the pill organizer he was using. He eventually proved his case and the DA dropped the charges, but the man's employer fired him because the delay caused a delivery to miss the deadline. Our law enforcement sometimes becomes the obstacle to lives getting restored to productivity and independence. And we all pay dearly for that loss.
As you can surmise, mentally ill people often have some diminished capacity for remembering to take the prescribed drugs at the hour specified. Elderly have similar challenges. But Randy is a big success case for the portential of an ill person to return to a productive life and be a father to his kids.
The "Inspector Javerts" of our various law enforcement units need to take a hard look at the harm they do to mental health when they trigger an episode like in the case of a bipolar heros who struggle to get back on their feet and provide for themselves and their families.
At some point a cop needs to examine whether he has lost sight of the redemptive component of law enforcement. And learn how to celebrate a life recovered, instead of insisting that no one ever changes from their past childish mistakes.
Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan declined a TV interview but sent a statement'
“Regarding this morning’s press conference by We the People and Mr. Wallace. The entire encounter between Wallace and Sgt. Larkin was grossly misrepresented."
For more information on the mental health advocacy effort, see NAMItulsa.org.
For more on the Randy Wallace story, see News On 6.
The news conference dealt with statements made by Officer Larkin. We're waiting for the facts to be sorted out. Is there such a thing as "a certified member of the Crypts"; as Larkin proclaims? Who would do the certifying?
There is a higher incidence of drug us by many who are eventually diagnosed with mood disorders, like bipolar, major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and schizophrenia. It is referred to a "self-medicating". It's far from the narrative of kids getting a thrill from drug experimentation. These are people dealing with their own mental torment. Liquor and pot are the primary drugs of their choice, but it only masks the symptoms. Real treatment with proven psychotropic medications can often bring real and lasting stabilization of brain chemistry.