Australian police kill mentally-ill man at Sydney’s main train station
29 July 2017
Police fatally shot Danukul Mokmool, a 30-year-old man with a history of mental illness, outside Sydney’s Central train station on Wednesday evening. The shooting took place in one of the busiest areas of the city, as thousands of people were catching trains to return home from work. In footage of the incident posted online, witnesses can be heard shouting in disbelief as the police opened fire.
The incident is the latest in a series of shootings that have highlighted the increasingly militarised character of the police and the recourse of its officers to lethal force, especially when dealing with people suffering psychological problems.
Police claimed they received reports of a possible armed robbery at a florist shop next to Central station. Witnesses told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and other publications they saw a man behaving erratically inside the shop, threatening the florist with a broken bottle and demanding that police be called.
Police arrived at around 6:45 p.m. Mokmool left the shop and moved toward the officers holding a pair of scissors. Underscoring his distressed mental state, Mokmool had allegedly slashed his own arm. According to some witnesses, he shouted, “just shoot me.” Police justified shooting Mokmool four times in the head and chest on the grounds he ran toward a plain-clothed officer.
Mokmool’s tragic death raises many questions, including why police used lethal force when confronted with a clearly disturbed and suicidal man holding only a pair of scissors.
Over the past decade, police across Australia have been armed with a battery of other, supposedly non-lethal weapons, such as capsicum spray and tasers, on…