Parents of Unarmed, Naked Man Shot by Police Speak Out - NBC 7 San Diego

Parents of Unarmed, Naked Man Shot by Police Speak Out

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    Parents of Unarmed Man Shot by Police Speak

    An unarmed naked man is shot by a San Diego police officer. Six months later his parents are still fighting the case for their emotionally disabled son. NBC 7's Dave Summers reports. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015)

    Six months after police shot an unarmed, naked man his parents are still fighting the case for their emotionally disabled son.

    NBC 7 spoke exclusively with the family about its efforts to change how law enforcement polices the emotionally and mentally disabled.

    San Diego Police officer Cristopher Grip thought he was responding to a burglary call but found Philip Anthony McMahon naked and staring at the window he had just smashed with his head.

    The scuffle that ensued lead to a shooting that nearly killed McMahon.

    The suspect's parents are left wondering how their unarmed naked son was a threat to a police officer.

    “This isn't some armed burglar. He was not wielding a knife or gun. He's standing there staring into a broken window,” mother Cheryl Scott said.

    Philip was shot on the left side of his chest shattering his shoulder. While he has physically healed his parents say Philip's mind has not.

    “Mentally he is still seeing a therapist every week a psychiatrist every month. He is so much better than he was,” stepfather Ken Scott said.

    Last February 16th a burglary was reported around noon in the 7900 block of Herrington Place. It turned out this was no break in. Philip, naked with no weapon, just smashed his neighbor's window with his head.

    “He was in the middle of a Psychotic episode, what can I say? It wasn't him. His brain was somewhere else,” Ken said.

    His parents say Philip has since been diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder. His mother didn't know it then but just 72 hours before this confrontation with San Diego Police, Philip was near breaking point.

    “He was pretty upset about where his life was going, things he felt like he needed to do, how scattered he felt,” Cheryl said.

    Without the benefit of diagnosis, Officer Christopher Grip tried to subdue McMahon. According to the officer’s testimony Philip refused commands, lunged at him, and tried to get the officer’s gun.

    “There was no acknowledgement of a helpless, confused, gaunt kid. I don't know how anyone could just rush in,” Cheryl said.

    Grip testified that he did not want to shoot McMahon. He instead pulled his weapon and pistol whipped Philip.

    Grip testified the gun fell to the ground, they both went for it, and the officer got there first and fired.

    Officer Grip was cleared of any wrong doing.

    “He was just standing there. Two other people had spoken to him already and said he wasn't all there,” Ken said.

    This is not over for the Scott family. Philip is charged with vandalism and resisting arrest.

    If convicted he could face three years in prison.

    His emotional disorders are a life sentence. His parents say his disorders and the gunshot wound that nearly killed Philip should be time served.

    Cheryl and Ken Scott aren't suing the city or law enforcement. They do though want to change how police handle the emotionally mentally disabled.

    On Phil's Page, a website they created, viewers can read Phillip’s story and learn ways to help them change how police are trained.

    McMahon's trial is scheduled for October.