THE VIEW FROM HERE - There’s no doubt that Kevin Cataneo Salazar killed Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, but there is a difference between killing and murder. In California, murder is more than killing. It is the causing of death of another with malice aforethought, which generally means that killer intended to kill the other person or acted with a reckless disregard.
Assuming that the family’s version is correct that Salazar was a dangerous schizophrenic who had been twice 5150'd and held for 72 hours and then released. A person may be confined against his will under Welfare and Institutions Code, § 5150. The initial hold can be for 72 hours, if it is believed he/she poses an imminent threat to herself or others. After the initial 72 hours, a person may be held up to 180 days, but then the most important factor is monetization.
Monetization Means How Much Will it Cost the Facility to Hold the Person
The general rule is that a facility will lose a lot of money by extending the hold. Yes, we once again enter the realm of monetization. It seems that people with excellent insurance are more likely to be held, while the poor seem to miraculously cease to be an imminent danger within 72 hours. I’ve seen one prominent Hollywood hospital release that same night after a shot of Hadol, despite his still hallucinating that he was being chased by lord knows whom. Later, when he was in court for some offense, he asked the court to order the probation department to provide psychiatric medication. The court refused because then the case would remain on the judge’s calendar and judges were evaluated by how quickly they cleared their case load. (Advancement up the judicial ranks is a form of personal monetization.)
MediCal’s Low Reimbursements
The reimbursement of cost which MediCal pays for psychiatric patients is notoriously low. Hospitals cannot vocalize that as the reason for discharging a violent lunatic. Thus, they focus on the word “imminent,” which means “(1) About to occur; impending. (2) Threatening to occur immediately; near at hand; impending; -- said especially of misfortune or peril. (3) Full of danger; threatening; menacing; perilous.”
When the hospital shoots up some deranged person with Hadol, he lacks the mental or physical ability to be an imminent danger, in let’s say the next several hours after he’s shoved out the door. Not all hospitals are this bad. Some will hold the person for 72 hours. The Salazar family says that twice Salazar was held for the full initial time period. The other vital claim is that Salazar was hearing voices. There are two significant problems when deranged people hear voices, (1) They tend to listen to what the voices say, (2) if the voices order violence, the patient may instantaneously lash out, stabbing someone or shooting a young police officer in the head.
Salazar’s psychiatric history may be withheld from the public for a long time, asserting confidentiality or defendant’s right to fair trial. Or, maybe his family will intervene and force the psychiatric facts be known.
Releasing Mentally Deranged Individuals without Medication Is Not Unusual
Authorities hate for the public to hear that the failure to hold a crazed lunatic resulted in the horrible injury or death to another or to the patient. The first person Kyle Rittenhouse shot on August 25, 2020, Kenosha, WI. was Joseph Rosenbaum, a psychiatric patient with a history of violence who had been released earlier that day without an adequate supply of medication. Being un-medicated, he attacked Kyle Rittenhouse who shot him dead with his rifle. No one has ever suggested that Rosenbaum did not see Kyle’s rifle, but Rosenbaum was too mentally screwed up to assess the danger to himself.
People don’t analyze how lives of homeless people like Rosenbaum are not monetize as they have no worth. The harm may be seldom, but it happens often enough for most states to have laws which protect facilities from any liability when they release dangerous people in order to protect their bottom-line.
From one perspective, it is reasonable not to make hospitals guarantors of the future, but on the other hand, an immunity from liability for releasing people like Rosenbaum and Salazar tips the monetization formula way too far towards releasing the criminally insane. It’s a matter of Zero Dollar Cost if the patient kills someone vs tens of thousands of un-reimbursed medical costs if they treat the lunatic. Psychotics, violent schizophrenics, and criminal paranoids do not respond quickly with Aspirin and bed rest like the common cold.
Who Else Should Have Been Hospitalized
What do we know about, Shawn Laval Smith (31), the homeless the man who murdered the UCLA grad student Brianna Kupfer while she was working at a Hancock Park furniture store on Thursday, January 13, 2022? They will relate he has a long criminal history from South Carolina, but no one seems to care why a criminally insane person was allowed to stalk people. It is much cheaper to close our eyes to the seriously mentally ill and wait until they do some horrible act. Then, we call them criminals without asking why we let homicidal maniacs roam the streets. The answer is monetization – mental health does not make money.
On Thursday, January 13, 2022, nurse, Sandra Shells (7), died after, a homeless man, Kerry Bell (48), struck her while she waited for a bus in Los Angeles. Bell had one prior arrest in Los Angeles and multiple other arrests in other states. As the public is beginning to realize, dangerous mentally ill people are being treated as if they’re sane. The same basic reason: monetization. Criminals are better income for the State than treating mental illness. Hard on crime brings votes, but treatment is seen as soft on crime.
When we monetize real estate developments, we only monetize the benefit to the developer and increased property taxes for the city. We never include the cost of the ruined lives, the misery and the aggravation of mental illness. For one thing, Los Angeles never takes Quality of Life into consideration. Everything has to be monetized to favor the wealthy, never the average Joe.
Our allowing developers to trash rent control homes and harass people onto to the streets is costing the Angelenos a minium of $1.3 Billion this year. But, what we do with the billions? We monetize the agency into some fiefdom, while the problem grows worse. Look at LAHSA, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. https://bit.ly/3Zr15Ez September 18, CityWatch, Why Do I Pick on LAHSA So Much?, by Tim Campbell LAHSA “serves primarily as a funding mechanism for a vast array of nonprofit agencies that should be providing shelter and services to the unhoused population.”
Who murdered Deputy Clinkunbroomer?
Not you nor I, and not society in general. The murderers are people who steal our collective productivity in order to indulge in their whims and frivolities, not leaving enough money for a decent quality of life for us average folks. Wall Street may not designate who will be killed, but that’s because it does not care.
(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a Realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor. You may email him at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not those of CityWatchLA.com.)