David Jordan

David JordanName: David Jordan
Died: September 11, 2012
Age at death: 20
Cause of death: Police shooting
Location: Long Beach, California, USA

David and his family spent a lot of time and effort to teach David. As a child, he couldn't talk, but he learned to point and gesture to communicate, and he liked to draw. At nine years old he started learning how to talk, and once he got the hang of it, would talk endlessly about his current hobby. He was a practicing Mormon.

At nineteen and about as independent as the average eight-year-old, David graduated special education high school and started learning how to use the bus system with the help of a mobility specialist. It took him most of a year, but he managed it, and at twenty David was ready to start attending noncredit college classes. He wanted to become a chef–an ambitious goal, but, his family thought, achievable.

But David was also struggling with depression, and changes tended to upset him. His special education advocate, recently hospitalized for a bypass operation, hadn't been able to work with him for a month. David's doctor had recently changed his depression medication because the old type was hard on David's liver. Without his advocate, on new medication, and on the second day of his classes at the college, David became upset and began talking about suicide.

His grandmother was worried. She called 911 and reported that her grandson was suicidal, as she had done before when David had a crisis and talked about wanting to "see God". This time was particularly bad; David was clutching a knife and talking about how he wanted police to kill him. David's grandmother explained to the dispatcher that David was autistic and needed help. She thought that, as before, they would send an ambulance for David and stabilize his condition with medication at the hospital.

Instead of sending an ambulance, however, emergency services sent a squad car. David pulled the knife, and officers shot him in the chest three times, killing him.

David's grandmother buried him in white, "because he was pure."

David Jordan Took 9 Years to Talk, But Dreamed Big
David Jordan, 20
20 Year-Old Shot By Police Was Autistic, Family Requested Ambulance

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