Family of mentally ill man killed by law enforcement speaks out, wants more support from the state in mental health

OZARK, Ala. (WDHN) — Amanda Hawes and her mother were heartbroken to learn that their loved one Boyd Phillips Jr., who had a mental illness was shot and killed by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

“My brother just wanted help,” Hawes said. “I broke down and cried I was a mess I went into my doctor’s appointment in tears.”

According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Phillips threatened multiple people at the All-In Credit Union with a knife earlier this month. They say he then ran out of the bank, got into a car and that’s when a chase started.

The chase led law enforcement to his home on Hub Street where he barricaded himself ultimately ending in deadly force where he was shot and killed by the ALEA swat team.

Investigators have not said why they opened fire and the family says they have been in the dark since then.

“We don’t have anger we are not angry at anyone we have peace we forgive whatever happened with Ozark police and whoever was there we have no clue, but I do know my brother is not suffering from mental illness anymore,” She said.

Phillips was diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenia about 22 years ago.

“Mental health is no joke,” She added. “He had his episodes one day he’s Jesus one day he’s Lucifer or both.”

His family says after getting into prior trouble with the law, he stayed in Searcy hospital in Mobile County until it closed in 2012 — when they released all of their patients.

“He has gotten worse over the last two years he was doing everything to get locked up for federal crimes they thought it was Boyd being Boyd or he will calm down,” She said.

Earlier this year, he tried to take his own life.

However, the family believes the city of Ozark and the state of Alabama failed to help him. The courts would not keep him and released him in a short amount of time until he could get into another mental health facility and his mental health service hardly enforced him taking medications.

His family would like to see the state do more in helping those with mental health illnesses.

“Alabama has to be better build another mental health facility because when these people are crying out or doctors changing medications and they won’t listen and we’re begging take the signs seriously,” She said. “A mother should not have to bury her son.”

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