The Power of Asking, ‘Is There a Better Way?’

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In October 2018, sheriff’s deputies in San Mateo County, California, confronted an unarmed 36-year-old man walking in traffic. They started shouting at and chasing the man, who suffered from mental illness, ultimately using a Taser on him repeatedly. He died, and the ensuing local outrage caught the attention of Zusha Elinson, a California-based reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He wondered: Is there a better way to respond to minor problems involving mental health, one that doesn’t end in tragedy?

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