Alert system for mental health crises advanced by lawmakers

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia Senate committee has approved legislation that would establish an alert system to dispatch mental health providers along with police to help stabilize people in crisis situations.

The bill approved Thursday by the Senate Judiciary Committee is named after Marcus-David Peters, a 24-year-old Black man killed by a Richmond police officer in 2018 as Peters underwent a mental health crisis.

Peters was fatally shot after he charged at an officer and threatened to kill him.

The committee’s vote came on the third day of a special legislative session called to address budget impacts of the coronavirus and criminal justice reforms.

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