Saturday, November 11, 2017
autistic, deaf, mentally disabled or old.
John W Whitehead at TheFutureOfFreedomFoundation
Don’t Call the Cops If You’re Autistic, Deaf, Mentally Ill, Disabled or Old
Anyone who cares for someone with a developmental disability, as well as for disabled people themselves [lives] every day in fear that their behavior will be misconstrued as suspicious, intoxicated or hostile by law enforcement.
—Steve Silberman, The New York Times
Life in the American police state is an endless series of don’ts delivered at the end of a loaded gun: don’t talk back to police officers, don’t even think about defending yourself against a SWAT team raid (of which there are 80,000 every year), don’t run when a cop is nearby lest you be mistaken for a fleeing criminal, don’t carry a cane lest it be mistaken for a gun, don’t expect privacy in public, don’t let your kids walk to the playground alone, don’t engage in nonviolent protest near where a government official might pass, don’t try to grow vegetables in your front yard, don’t play music for tips in a metro station, don’t feed whales, and on and on.
Here’s another don’t to the add the growing list of things that could get you or a loved one tasered, shot or killed, especially if you are autistic, hearing impaired, mentally ill, elderly, suffer from dementia, disabled or have any other condition that might hinder your ability to understand, communicate or immediately comply with an order: don’t call the cops.
Sometimes it’s dangerous enough calling the cops when you’re not contending with a disability.
For instance, Justine Damond called 911 to report a disturbance and ended up dead after police dispatched to investigate instead shot the 40-year-old yoga instructor. Likewise, Carl Williams called 911 to report a robbery and ended up being shot by police, who mistook him for a robber in his own home.....