Disabiled And Special Needs People In Eyes Of The Law

April 25, 2017

In recent months there had been a lot of police brawls between citizens. A lot of harmless people, from California to the east coast. Let me just say, I have a huge respect for the law enforcement from state police to your local officer. They put their live on the front line to protect the public. Sadly many people now hate the police. If you are a person with different clothing or color they treat you like a monster. As for myself I don't see skin color, I just see a person without racial labeling. This will be a story maybe for article next time.


There are so many incidents when cops took it too far. Some got beaten to a bloody pulp and even one who died from spine injuries. There was even one incident when person was thrown in holding cell, the individual hit his head on the concrete bench resulting in a fatal concussion. Some families had sued the police department. These people were high functioning and hadn't any disabilities. 

Further more many cops don't know how to handle people with disabilities and their care takers. Disability or not, law enforcement treats everyone equally. There are many ways to approach a individual. A normal person would react to an request but it's different and difficult to approach the one who have disabilities. Let us take Down Syndrome or Autistic especially. With Autism and Down Syndrome, individuals don't like confrontation or loud noises and get easily scarred and run away to their own safety place or have trouble coping with simple commands. Some police departments are mow training their officers on how to approach a person with intellectual disabilities who maybe are lost or ran away from home. Before they did not know on how to do it. And I think it is time more our policemen and policewomen to learn different protocols. Some policemen and policewomen care for their kids because they have family of their own.

There were few separate incidents that really blew my top and you will hate law authorities even more. We all once or twice had sneaked into am other auditorium that was showing a different movie. But this story was about Robert Ethan Saylor, a man in his early 20's with Down Syndrome who refused to buy a new ticket to see his movie second time. At the ticket counter he was told to buy a new one if he wanted to see the movie again. Movie theater called the police and after altercation kid got shot. He died.

In a second story another, Gilberto Powell, a man in his 20's runs into a bad experience with cops. He was walking back home from his friend and got stopped and thrown to the ground. Police thought he stole something or had a gun but it was a colonstomy bag... A medical device which was pulled from his abdomen. This gentleman was also had special needs. Come on! This guy cooperated but still he was badly beaten by police. Shame! 

A third story focuses on a man Arnaldo Rios who is 26 with Autism and his aid. They werej ust walking down the street and minding their business when a police officer asks them to stop, thinking an autistic man, had a gun but it was toy truck. Helper surrenders and says everything is fine. Autistic man is scared… After the aid gets shot and the situation was cleared up there was no reason for emergency.

Now imagine a person with a walker or maybe in an wheelchair. You better believe it, a lot of people would be outraged. The mayor would be forced to fire officers who abused their power and the number one thing is, relatives would sue the town for pain and suffering. In few cases these officers did not even get into trouble and still work for the police. Can law enforcement learn how to approach different situations without using their gun?

© E. P. Sendecki / EeroSendTheKey