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Sad Stories from Benton/Franklin Counties

Sad stories 

We (a group of advocates and family members of people who have been in crisis)  allege that a number of patients in our region either were shot and killed, or died of preventable causes, sometimes while in custody: at least four lives over a period of several months in recent history.

February 10, 2015: 
Antonio Zambrano was shot 16 times and killed by police for rock-throwing, but family members reportedly said he was mentally ill and had been denied proper treatment.  It was reported that Zambrano was on the same street corner one year earlier hitting cars with a stick as they drove by.

March 11, 2016:  
Teenager Mark Anthony Moreno was arrested and placed in Benton County jail where he died 8 days later.  

His crime, as we can best determine, Marc suffered mental illness and his Father, Brother and Sister desperately pleaded for help from Mental Health providers he was instead arrested and put in Benton County Jail – where he died without proper medical help…

Moreno Died in his cell March 11 after 8 days in custody.

March 26, 2015 10:32 PM, Brad Jensen -- (Updated March 26, 2015 10:35 PM)

According to Oliver, after Chris Jensen’s allegedly schizophrenic son was killed during a confrontation with two Pasco police officers, Jensen spent months thinking about what could have been done differently.
“The former Pasco police officer and city councilman says the local mental health system is broken.” (Claude Oliver)

The Green Party was told the senior Jensen questions the way police use deadly force when dealing with those not of sound mind.
“The voices in Brad Jensen’s head became too difficult (him) to deal with in the months leading up to the July shooting,” Oliver said.

April 11, 2018: Teen suicide.
A Kennewick Student took his own life, using a gun to end it all: Jacob Tague, 18, died from a gunshot at his home on South Edison Street. “

May 20, 2018 -- Seattle Times reported waitlist …
“Right now, Western State has a waitlist of 233 mentally-ill people who are languishing in jails as they await mental-health treatment or a psychiatric evaluation.” That is believed to be the longest waitlist the hospital has ever had for these type of patients (Attributed to DSHS Secretary Cheryl Strange.)

These are people in crisis who are either deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial or who are awaiting a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether they fall into that category. While they wait in jail, they are not receiving the treatment they need, potentially causing their conditions to worsen and making them difficult to treat once they actually are admitted. The state is already paying about $3-million per month in court fines over the ongoing violation of these patients’ rights.”

May, 2016 – NPR reported suicidal thoughts up among teens
“The number of kids who struggle with thoughts of suicide or who attempt to kill themselves is rising. New research, published Wednesday in Pediatrics,finds children ages 5 to 17 visited children's hospitals for suicidal thoughts or attempts about twice as often in 2015 as in 2008.”  

Surely the above-named Kennewick Student who is believed to have committed suicide on or around April 11 must have been one of those “rising numbers” with suididal thoughts.

May 21, 2018: Rambling man reported
Reportedly called in to Richland PD: A man was seen walking down Jadwin Street in Richland, Washington, with no shirt and no shoes - rambling on.  Observer could tell he wasn't dangerous, so she stayed and waited with him. Without a Restoration Diagnostics Diversion Center or CCRC we assumed he would most likely have been thrown into jail as others have, rather than receive treatment. As of this writing we don’t know how he was processed.

Note that this is also part of an earlier, longer article that I am breaking it up into smaller chunks that are easier for people to read/digest.


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Local Group organizing: meeting Friday to discuss Crisis Center for the mentally ill and others.

A local group of concerned citizens is organizing to push for a regional, Coordinated Crisis Response Center in Benton and Franklin Counties.  The workshop will be held Friday morning (June 8, 2018) at Claude Oliver’s office in the Tri-Cities Realty Group, 1919 N. 20th Avenue, Pasco, Washington. Please join us if you can.

The Crisis Center is needed to prevent tragedies such as the shooting death of a young man (believed to have been mentally ill) for throwing rocks at police, as well as other local tragedies. For more information contact

Claude Oliver ( or

Frank Lockwood

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