Do you remember Michael Brandon Hill? A little bit more than a year ago he took several guns into the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in DeKalb County, Georgia. No one was hurt after he briefly exchanged gunfire with police and he ultimately surrendered after being talked into it by the school secretary. Considering he was armed to the teeth and had 500 bullets in his possession, yet no one was hurt, I had suggested that he was trying to commit suicide by cop. I was right.
This past Tuesday Hill pleaded guilty to the charges against him. He said that he wanted to take responsibility for his actions. He was then sentenced to 20 years in prison, that sentence doesn’t help anyone. Hill has a history of mental illness, specifically being bi-polar. According to Hill’s brother he was off his meds because his Medicaid ran out, a situation that I can certainly relate to. Even at his hearing Hill admitted he was trying to commit suicide by cop.
“He knew because there were children the police would come there and they would fire at him and he would die,” Deets told Superior Court Judge Mark Anthony Scott. “He is a 21-year-old man who had the deck stacked against him from birth. He reached out for help but our system, as it exists, is not equipped to give people like Mr. Hill help.”
Not to mention, and yes I will keep beating this horse, that seeking help for mental health issues in our society is still stigmatized. His own brother even said that he had ‘the bi-polar’. That’s a great example of how many people are still ignorant of what these terms really mean.
Bottom line is 20 years in prison is too much for Michael Hill. This is someone who actually needs treatment and not jail. Sentence him to a state psychiatric facility? Fine, that I have no problem with. In prison I doubt he’ll get nearly the help he needs.