Concerning the Article published "Why did they do it?" by John Rappoport
I really wish you would research the facts before including Julie Marie Meade
in articles such as this. Julie did not go on a murderous rampage when she
was shot to death by the police, nor was she outside waving around a gun when
they arrived. She was in a third floor apartment when they called her
outside. She had called 911 telling the dispatcher that she wanted to shoot
herself and to send help.
Police stated that in subsequent conversations with her that [Julie] threatened to shoot the responding officers if they didn't shoot her. We found this difficult to believe as Julie hated violence but we were denied the chance to here the 911 call or read transcripts of it when we requested it. Nevertheless common sense would tell you that you don't call someone outside, down three flights of stairs if they are threatening to shoot you.
These officers did not go upstairs and secure the door to protect other residents instead they positioned themselves outside and called her downstairs only to shoot her to death moments later. Not one shot, not two shots but at least 10 shots to the head and chest....(to this day we do not exactly know how many as we were denied access to even her medical records) and all they could say was that it was "just standard procedure!"
A witness said she was holding the gun up in the air then down at her side, not pointing it at officers when they opened fire on her. Incidences like this only add to the mistrust of children and as the old saying goes "children learn what they live". In this country many police officers get away with murder because no one bothers to dig for the facts or ask too many questions and families are denied access to Grand Jury proceedings so only the questions that want to be asked are relayed to the jury.
In this case the officers were exonerated because the school bus was coming and they said she posed too much of a threat. Yet according to the police departments own spokesman three of the eight officers responding went to put up road blocks and stop the school bus while the remaining officers positioned themselves around the building. Knowing the bus was coming why did they call her downstairs? Why didn't they secure the door?
Prince Georges County Police are well known for their excessive force. In comparison a similar incident occurred in Montgomery County which is about ten miles from where Julie was killed. In this case it was an adult with a rifle threatening to shoot police. The responding officers went up and secured the door and called a crisis unit. They arrived and fired a round of rubber bullets through the window, the man surrendered, case closed , without a drop of bloodshed. Which of these two departments would you want to respond if this were your child?
When a community excepts cases like Julie's as common procedure what kind of example are we setting for our children?
Julie was not out on the streets at night, on drugs or involved in a gang or gothic group as one might suspect. Nor was she skipping school as one paper reported. She was at home waiting to be put in a home study program. She was never supposed to be in a regular classroom setting and despite repeated phone calls to the school by her father they failed to recognize or even try to comprehend Julie's problems. One thing that Julie did have in common with the other children in your article is that she too was continuously harassed and beaten up by fellow students.
But like most females in that kind of situation she turned her anger inward to herself rather than towards hurting anyone else. We believe that she was being harassed that day as a car full of young boys had been seen circling the parking lot shortly before the shooting and Julie had been seen in the hall looking extremely agitated by a neighbor.
She obviously knew she wasn't going to kill herself as she had an empty pellet gun which ironically was given to her by a friend to scare off the kids that had beaten her up. We also found notes which indicated that she had been hurt by a boy which she was in love with. Julie no doubt felt that by calling on a suicide attempt it would get the police there without repercussions from the kids harassing her.
We lost a wonderful young girl whose greatest joy came from helping others, especially those less fortunate. She was Jim's only daughter and it's articles like yours that only serve to deepen the wound. I myself feel that medications are given far too readily not only to children but adults as well when counseling or natural alternatives could work just as well without the risks of drugs. However we cannot overlook the cases where drugs such as prozac are the only means to a normal life for some individuals.
Physicians and parents need to learn to distinguish what are normal "growing pains" or reactions to certain events in ones life and realize that unconditional love and understanding, not a prescription will go a long way towards recovery. If the psychiatrists issuing the prescription would take the time to talk to their patients instead of passing out drugs and sending them on their way we would have far less incidences from the ones you describe.
Please send bug reports to the Information .