Monday 5 March at 8.30pm on ABC1
Police forces across the country claim they’ve been hard at work training their officers to deal with people who are mentally ill, armed and posing a threat to themselves and the public.
But have lessons really been learnt, and is it possible to change a police culture that doesn’t admit responsibility when things go wrong?
Adam Salter was a young man with much to live for, with a good job and a loving family. But Adam also had a mental illness.
Late in 2009, in the middle of a psychotic episode, Adam tried to kill himself. Showing little regard for his own safety, his father Adrian managed to disarm him, dial emergency assistance and get help.
Then the police arrived. In the moments that followed, police claimed Adam Salter rose from the floor, shrugged off one of the officers present and grabbed a knife they had failed to remove from the scene.
Then, according to police, another officer at the house heard the disturbance and rushed through the kitchen door shouting “taser, taser, taser” before shooting Adam Salter dead.
In her evidence, Sgt Bissett claimed she believed the seriously wounded man was threatening her fellow police officer.
But others on the scene tell a very different story, saying Adam posed no immediate threat. Who’s right?
Now reporter Quentin McDermott puts together a forensic account of the events leading to the young man’s death and the shooting itself.
Using the testimony of family, ambulance officers and interviews with the police themselves, the program examines the mistakes made by the officers and the inconsistencies in their explanations for shooting Adam Salter.
The story of Adam Salter raises many questions, including the issue of how lethal force is used by police. But perhaps the most profound question it raises is: can the police be trusted to investigate themselves?