There are times when radicalism means standing up to the police, but there are many more times where it means talking to your neighbor.
Naomi Klein (via liberatingreality)
April 23, 2013
A 61-year-old man was shot to death by police while his wife was handcuffed in another room during a drug raid on the wrong house in Lebanon, Tennessee.
Police admitted their mistake, saying faulty information from a drug informant contributed to the death of John Adams Wednesday night. They intended to raid the home next door.
The two officers, 25-year-old Kyle Shedran and 24-year-old Greg Day, were placed on administrative leave with pay.
“They need to get rid of those men, boys with toys,” said Adams’ 70-year-old widow, Loraine.
John Adams was watching television when his wife heard pounding on the door. Police claim they identified themselves and wore police jackets. Loraine Adams said she had no indication the men were police.
“I thought it was a home invasion. I said ‘Baby, get your gun!,” she said, sitting amid friends and relatives gathered at her home to cook and prepare for Sunday’s funeral.
Police say her husband fired first with a sawed-off shotgun and they responded. He was shot at least three times and died later at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
Loraine Adams said she was handcuffed and thrown to her knees in another room when the shooting began.
“I said, ‘Y’all have got the wrong person, you’ve got the wrong place. What are you looking for?“‘
“We did the best surveillance we could do, and a mistake was made,” Lebanon Police Chief Billy Weeks said. “It’s a very severe mistake, a costly mistake. It makes us look at our own policies and procedures to make sure this never occurs again.” He said, however, the two policemen were not at fault.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating. NAACP officials said they are monitoring the case. Adams was black. The two policemen are white.
Family members did not consider race a factor and Weeks agreed, but said the shooting will be “a major setback” for police relations with the black community.
“We know that, we hope to do everything we can to heal it,” Weeks said.
Johnny Crudup, a local NAACP official, said the organization wanted to make sure and would investigate on its own.
Weeks said he has turned the search warrant and all other evidence over to the bureau of investigation and District Attorney General Tommy Thompson. A command officer must now review all search warrants.
No one deserves to die during a drug raid. This story is heartbreaking & it’s not all that uncommon.
February 13, 2013
TW: Rape, violence: In some of the most disturbing and sickening news of the day, New York state police have decided that a 15-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted by three boys was in fact not sexually assaulted because both she and the boys are mentally handicapped.
In May of last year, three boys attacked a 15-year-old mentally challenged student at Martin De Porres Academy, a school for students with special needs in Long Island. According to the police report, one of the boys repeatedly banged her head against the table while the other two forced her to give them oral sex and then tried to have forcible anal sex with her. In interviews with the police, the girl explained how she repeatedly said “no” and “stop” but that the boys continued to assault her. When she came home from school that day, her mother noticed that she had blood on her underwear.
But the Nassau County Police Department recently decided to drop the case after learning that the boys also had learning disabilities and mental handicaps, which apparently made the situation far too complicated for the police department.
The department’s spokesperson told the New York Daily News , “It was more of a consensual situation with their mental capabilities.”
Of course, head-banging, blood and repeated pleas to “stop” are never consensual situations—regardless of the IQ level of the attackers. But, in this case, the police department is even further off target. As the family’s lawyer explained, the girl has an IQ of about 50 points, which puts her below the cognitive functioning level to consent to sex at all.
The school meanwhile, has played its own part in attempting to cover up the case. Only weeks after the assault occurred, the school sent a letter to the police department, that read:
“The school administration request (sic) no further police action and will handle additional behavioral and social issues with traning (sic) and additional counseling.”
The school did fire the teacher who was present in the classroom during the attack.
Women and girls with mental disabilities are frequently the targets for sexual assaults—and few of their aggressors are ever prosecuted.
According to one study, a staggering 80 percent of women with these disabilities are the targets of rape or sexual assault in their lifetimes.
People with disabilities are rarely brought into conversations about social justice struggles, like sexual violence, but that 80 percent statistic is outrageous & disgusting. If we are going to talk about rape culture, we need to include those most vulnerable to violence, including those with disabilities.