Friday, February 5, 2016

Woman with Asperger’s shot dead by police in Arizona

Woman with Asperger’s who touched millions with viral video shot dead by police in Arizona

Mesa police investigate officer-involved shooting

A woman with Asperger’s who posted a touching viral video with her service dog last summer has been shot dead by police.
Danielle Jacobs was killed by Mesa, Arizona, officers on Thursday after they arrived at her apartment for a suicide call around 11 a.m., her mother Stacia confirmed to the Daily News.
Police told local media that the 24-year-old came at them with a knife and they fired in self-defense.
Jacobs had garnered international attention last year for posting a courageous video where she sobs as her loving dog Samson provided comfort during a meltdown and used his paws to stop her hitting herself.
“This is what having Asperger's like,” she wrote alongside the clip, and told theHuffington Post, “When I have a meltdown, I often have self-injurious behavior and I often self-harm.”
The video has been made private, though up until three days before her death she posted videos of the canine comforting her during outbreaks of anxiety.
“I talked to her last night and the night before and she seemed fine,” her mother, who now is taking care of the Rottweiler, told the News.

Danielle Jacobs, an Arizona woman with Asperger's who was in a touching viral video last year, was shot dead by police in Mesa.

Millions viewed a video that Jacobs 

courageously posted last year, showing her 

dog Samson comforting her during a 

meltdown. She added  that people who knew her were questioning whether police shooting the young woman in the stomach was necessary. “Before the police arrived she wasn’t posing a threat to the community at all,” Stacia said.

“And the police came into her own place. They shot and killed a 24-year-old autistic, mentally ill individual whom they had been familiar with and aware of her special needs.” Detective Esteban Flores told AZ Family that police had responded to a suicide call at the same residence two years ago. Jacobs lived in a “mother-in-law” apartment next to an older couple’s house.The Mesa Police Department said that two people in their 70s were at the home on Thursday.
Flores told the Daily News in a statement Thursday night that "This morning officers from the Mesa Police Department were involved in an officer involved shooting with a 24-year-old woman who was threatening suicide with a knife" and did not elaborate on the circumstances of the incident.  Police who responded to a suicide call on Thursday said that the 24-year-old came at police with a knife.

Jacobs’ openness about the struggles she faced as a person with Asperger’s, and her close relationship to Samson, warmed the hearts of more than 2 million people who viewed her video last summer.

Her mother said that Jacobs was caring young woman who would have given someone she’d just met the shirt off her back.
She added that after the holidays her daughter had — despite a limited income from her job at Target — bought two Christmas trees and ornaments on sale to give to low income families for this upcoming December.
Officers involved in the shooting, none of whom were hurt, have been placed on administrative leave, according to ABC 15.  They were not wearing body cameras.