Protesters celebrate after hearing that former DeKalb County Police Officer Robert "Chip" Olsen was indicted by a grand jury in January 2016 for the shooting death of Anthony Hill. Episode 4 of Breakdown examines why police encounters with the mentally ill often turn deadly. Ben Gray / bgray@ajc.com
Photo: Ben Gray
Photo: Ben Gray

‘Breakdown’ S07 Ep. 4: Policing a mental health crisis

When Robert “Chip” Olsen drove his squad car into the Heights at Chamblee apartment complex in March 2015 he was responding to a Signal 22 — a mental illness call.

But was he prepared to handle it?

The fourth episode of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s podcast ‘Breakdown: Judgment Call’ examines the challenges that police face as first responders for the mentally ill.

In Olsen’s case, the encounter turned deadly: He shot and killed 26-year-old Anthony Hill, who had stripped naked and was wandering his apartment complex in the middle of the afternoon. 

But did it have to? 

» LISTEN: Previous seasons of the AJC’s “Breakdown” podcast

» MORE: The latest on Anthony Hill and the Chip Olsen trial

“Policing a Mental Health Crisis” goes live Tuesday. It’s the latest installment in the The AJC’s award-winning podcast.

It looks at how law enforcement equips and trains officers to handle  the mentally ill. The episode also looks at why Olsen’s prosecution became a judicial hot potato in DeKalb County and explores the reasons it’s so rare to prosecute police officers.

Breakdown is now in it’s seventh season. AJC legal affairs writer, Bill Rankin, is back as Breakdown’s host. He’s joined by public safety reporter, Christian Boone. 

This season we are also partnering with WSB-Radio.

You can download the podcast from iTunesStitcherSpotify or your favorite podcasting platform. Or you can stream it on your computer in the player below.

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