People with disabilities also get killed by the police

People with disabilities also get killed by the police

In 2018, police killed at least 136 people with a disability. That’s not okay. The police should be protecting vulnerable populations, not killing them.

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Clearly it is a systemic issue.
Adam Trammell

Adam Trammell was tasered 15 times because he wouldn’t get out of the shower. He had Schizophrenia and thought the police might be a delusion. Police had been called to bring him to the hospital where he could receive care.

Ethan Saylor
Ethan Saylor had Down Syndrome. One day he stubbornly refused to leave a theater because he wanted to watch the movie again. Police were called and and within minutes Ethan was dead from asphyxiation.
Magdiel Sanchez
Magdiel Sanchez was deaf and had an intellectual disability. He was standing on the porch of his own house while holding a pipe. When police told him to drop the pipe, he didn’t hear their command, so they shot him dead.
Charleena Lyles
Charleena Lyles called the police to report a burglary. The police were aware the woman had mental health issues, and within moments of arriving on the scene, they shot her dead. She was pregnant and had four other children in the home at the time.

The officers talked about the woman previously having large metal shears, trying to prevent officers from leaving her apartment and making “weird statements” about her and her daughter turning into wolves.

Bettie Jones and Quintonio LeGrier.
Quintonio LeGrier was shot dead by police after he called 911 thinking that someone was trying to harm him. When the police arrived, Quintonio was in a psychotic state and was swinging an aluminum bat. Police shot Quintonio six times and also killed Bettie Jones by accident.

A jury awarded LeGrier’s family 1 million dollars in damages, but a judge overturned the settlement.

For many, the nub of the problem is the way police are taught to interact from the very beginning – with so much emphasis on firearms training and personal protection, and relatively little on de-escalating confrontations.

BBC News

These are just a few examples of people who have disabilities that have been killed by police. All of the deaths could have been avoided and it is incumbent upon law enforcement agencies to better train their members to ensure that lives are respected.

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