May 21, 2024

What Is a Wellness Check by the Police?

What Is a Wellness Check by the Police? Known as wellness check, or a welfare check, is a procedure carried out by law enforcement officers meant to ensure the well-being of an individual. Unfortunately, wellness checks often go wrong, and police have often ended up harming individuals who need assistance and posed no threat to officers. 

If you or someone you know suffered wrongful harm from police officers during a wellness check or under other circumstances, contact our California police brutality attorneys today. 

How a Wellness Check Should Go

A wellness check typically occurs when someone is unable to be reached or has been deemed at risk due to various factors, such as mental health issues, a welfare concern, or suspicious circumstances. The purpose of a wellness check is to provide assistance to individuals who may be in danger or require immediate intervention. 

During a wellness check, the police should visit the individual’s residence to assess their condition and ensure their safety. Officers will commonly knock on the door, attempt verbal communication, and evaluate the individual’s state of mind and physical well-being. If necessary, they may request permission to enter the premises to conduct a more thorough investigation or call paramedics.

The Reality of Police Wellness Checks

According to the Washington Post, police asked to conduct welfare checks actually shot or killed the very person they were supposed to assist in at least 178 cases during a three-year period. While wellness checks are intended to protect individuals, they can often lead to unfortunate outcomes, especially in marginalized communities. 

A recent study found that black people were half as likely as white people to think that their local police used force appropriately, treated all races fairly, and were adequately held accountable for misconduct. Recent incidents have shed light on the potential dangers associated with wellness checks, with far too many resulting in unnecessary use of force, injuries, or even fatalities.

Individuals who have faced the threat of police brutality or other violations may feel anxious or fearful when law enforcement officers knock on their doors. The trauma caused by past encounters can trigger escalating distress during wellness checks, exacerbating an already volatile situation with someone who may be sick, injured, or otherwise unwell.

Police Misconduct During Wellness Checks

Sadly, wellness checks can escalate into violent encounters, leading to physical injuries, psychological trauma, or even a loss of life. These incidents highlight the urgent need for accountability and reform within our law enforcement system.

If you believe your rights have been violated or you have experienced misconduct during a wellness check, contact a California lawyer who handles police brutality cases. A knowledgeable, experienced California police brutality lawyer can assist you in understanding your rights, gathering evidence, and navigating the legal process.

Need a California Police Brutality Lawyer?

Looking for a California police brutality lawyer after a wellness check went wrong? The dedicated, skilled California police brutality lawyers at Pointer and Buelna, LLP: Lawyers For The People are dedicated to providing support for individuals who have been victimized by the police.

To set up a free consultation with one of our lawyers today, contact us now or give us a call at (510) 929-5400. We are available 24/7.

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