Perry Manley walked into the federal courthouse pictured above yesterday (the picture is actually taken inside the building from the bankruptcy court lobby on the sixth floor) and got the federales to shoot him. The local newspaper of the homeless, "Real Change," just featured him last week, although the article has a number of small errors regarding the law. (See also their followup article) He was a part of an entity styled the Washington Civil Rights Council. I am pretty sure I saw him signboarding on the street corners near the federal and state courthouses in years past.
In looking at Manley's fundamental complaint, however, that paying child support is unconstitutional, I've gotta say:
This isn't about child support, folks. This is about mental illness (if the text of these emails is authentic, I don't think there's any question). Although Manley tapped into a wellspring of anger regarding parents' frustration with the court system, what he did with that anger nursed over the years was in fact insane. How sad that no one could reach him before he committed suicide by cop. But I am naively optimistic in such matters. He may have been beyond help.
I used to think that the publicly mentally ill were better off living their madness in public because it enabled them to ventilate their "issues" without causing harm to themselves or others. Is Perry Manley the exception that proves the rule? Or did living his madness inflame him?