SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (WCIA): Dozens of people showed up in the capital to speak for Gregory Small.
Two months ago, Small was threatening to commit suicide when his mother called police. The police officer ended up shooting Petites four times. Mental health professionals point to a situation like Small’s as a perfect example of why the system needs to change.
“I think the things we need to work on are important to people with mental health issues that need to be addressed in a professional way, not to mention law enforcement,” Diana Knaebe , president of Memorial Behavioral Health, said.
Small faces an aggravated assault offense for alleged jumping against police while holding a knife. Sangamon County State Attorney Dan Wright made it clear that he does not want Small to face jail. He wants Small to go to mental health recovery court.
In this way, Small would get the help he needs at the expense of pleading guilty to the crime. Springfield Ward 2 councilor Shawn Gregory is one of many people who have contacted Wright to call for his removal from office.
“I think we both agree that we hate to see situations like this, you know, he has his job to do and we want them to agree at those times. But, you know, we agree to work to work together to getting that mental health section of our society, ”Gregory said.
Small’s family does not want Small to go through treatment with a felony punished in the head, although he does rub shoulders if the program ends. Knaebe said a systemic review is needed.
“I think that’s part of the role of recovery courts, hybrid courts, anti-drug courts and that sort of thing,” Knaebe said. “So you are involved in the treatment, let’s start with accountability. Therefore, it is a responsibility to go back to the judge and make sure others follow him. I think until we fix the whole system, it’s an option. “