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Thu Dec 17, 2015, 06:00 PM


Black, autistic, and killed by police (xpost from GD)


On a sunny Saturday last April, a small crowd gathered in a Calumet City park to mourn the loss of a black child.

"I want you to realize we have tragedies every day, black families," 58-year-old Steven Watts told the crowd. His voice was worn and somber, barely eclipsing the hum of passing cars. "I saw it. I watched it. And for three years now, this is what I see every single day: I see my son dying. I see his eyes closing. And for what?"

Watts flexed his thumb and forefinger, thinned by an ongoing battle with stomach cancer, into the shape of a gun. It was a crude representation of the scene he witnessed in the basement of his home on February 1, 2012, when Calumet City police officers William Coffey and Robert Hynek shot and killed his youngest child....

Stephon (pronounced steh-FON) had autism. He was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome—a complex developmental disability characterized by social and communication difficulties, eccentric behavior, and often singular, intense interests—at age nine. People with an autism spectrum disorder are seven times more likely to encounter police than "neurotypical" individuals, or those without developmental disabilities, according to autism experts. Depending on the severity of their disorder, people on the autism spectrum can react inappropriately to police and have trouble following commands.

edit: And this isn't the first time, either.


I can personally verify that Autistic people are quite likely to encounter the [strike]pigs[/strike] gendarmerie. But since I'm white, I am still among the quick.

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Reply Black, autistic, and killed by police (xpost from GD) (Original post)
KamaAina Dec 2015 OP
mapol Sep 2019 #1

Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Sep 12, 2019, 09:05 AM

1. I'm so sorry that that happened.

It's true that people with development problems and other disabilities are more likely to be seriously injured and/or killed by cops. It's rather horrific.

White people with development problems and other disabilities have also been killed by police, as well. Witness the death of a mentally ill white homeless man (whose name escapes me at the moment) several years ago while he was camping under a bridge in Fullerton, CA.

The cop culture in this society definitely needs to change. Perhaps, though, only a change in our whole society's structure will make that possible.

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