This is part two of a series on “suicide by cop.” What does it mean? Who are the victims? Why is this happening? We’ll answer these questions and more.
When Micah Jester, a young Texas mom dealing with postpartum depression, went into crisis earlier this year her partner picked up the phone and dialed 911. A team of mental health professionals came to their home in Austin to help.
In the midst of another crisis a few weeks ago – Jester’s partner again called 911. But the second time, she was killed by the police. They said she had a gun.
Quickly the term “suicide by cop” started flying around her case.
The case is still under investigation. And the only person who could talk to us is Jester’s partner, Victor Cantu.
That night, Cantu says Jester was deeply conflicted. It was the 10th anniversary of her father’s death – he had been shot and killed by police in Florida.
“She was getting out of control,” Cantu says. “Just talking about death a lot. What happens after death? If I die, I don’t want to come back as the same person. Do you believe that there’s – you know? – heaven or hell or … I got to the point where I was like – ‘I’m done.’”
Cantu sounds calm as he’s describing this episode. He says Jester would often cut her face during a crisis. On that night she was holding their baby and wouldn’t let Cantu take her. He called 911 and asked for a mental health officer. He says the operator asked him if Jester was armed.
“And I said ‘No, there’s no weapons involved,’” he says. “When I said that, [Jester] actually raised her shirt, showed me the grip and I was like ‘Ok, let me change that – there is – she’s got a gun, there is a gun.’”
Days later, police officials released their findings. Jester had a BB gun that mimicked a semi-automatic pistol. Jester had also left a note before the incident.