Just some thoughts on this dreary, cold day.
It is hard when loved ones die from disease or old age. It is horrible when loved ones die from an accident. It is devastating when loved ones are killed by others. Those left behind always seem to have a feeling of guilt, but that’s mainly from being helpless. I’ve said on this blog many times that death does not discriminate. It doesn’t care about age, gender, or the color of skin. Money might buy medical care to extend life, but it cannot bribe death when the time comes. That sense of helplessness runs deep.
When loved ones are killed, people look to the justice system. The only comfort that comes from that is the sense of juries and judges acknowledging right from wrong. However, what juries hear and see is painted by their own hearts and minds. People are not computers programmed to process data without bias.
There are times when there are no words sufficient in bringing comfort to the hurting, to those who have lost loved ones, the ill, the tired. There are times when I feel that there must be more – something I can do, and not merely say. If I had the power of resurrection, I would walk through the hospitals, the morgue, the graveyards, calling out names and saying, “Come forth.”
Today, because I feel that there are no words sufficient to directly comfort the living, I will address their loved ones who have gone on. Read the rest of this entry
This week has been exhausting. Thankfully, I subscribe to other blogs that give me a sigh of relief with gorgeous photos and quotes of wisdom. However, it’s not long before I return to thinking about seeing law enforcement on the streets of America with equipment that was manufactured and intended for use by military troops.
Some of you might remember when I wrote “Upsetting the Apple Cart.” It is about my first experience hearing about cops killing and a cover-up. Entire cities lose trust in law enforcement. In the 1960’s and until about the mid 1970’s, it was common to hear cops referred to as “pigs.” Knowing some cops personally, I never wanted to include them in the pot with stupid, cowardly cops. Still, I can look back in history and consider now that in some cities, such as Chicago, vigilante justice runs rampant because citizens do not trust cops.
Since the 1970’s, cops have acquired more tools for protection, and more tools to force the submission of “suspects.” The problem however, as we saw with Sean Bell, is that when there is no resistance, cops still want to use their tools to control, as tools to punish and torture. The cop who killed Sean Bell said he thought he was pulling his taser, but Sean Bell was not resisting where a taser was necessary.
Also, as we saw with Kelly Thomas, when a “suspect” has a mental disease, there are cops who take pleasure in experimenting to see just how much pain they can inflict, even pain that results in death.
Resisting is now defined as moving any part of your body; asking any question; being deaf; having physical conditions where you can’t move fast. Read the rest of this entry
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. Martin Luther King.
I’m reading the news about Eric Garner and it causes me to ask questions while getting that sick feeling in my stomach. Those questions are in regards to why such a violent act committed on Garner has gathered media attention when the same violent action against Ethan Saylor, who had Down Syndrome, is unknown by many. The only conclusion I can draw is because New York cares more about injustices against its citizens than the State of Maryland. In the alternative, New York knows how to handle public relations, even if to give its citizens false hope. Read the rest of this entry
On January 12, 2013 in Frederick, MD, 26-year-old Ethan Saylor went to see the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” in a theater inside a mall. After the movie, Ethan wanted to see it again. Someone told him he needed to buy another ticket. Ethan had Down syndrome — a genetic condition that impairs physical growth and intelligence. Ethan does not carry cash. He had an IPhone. Because his mom later saw four, 4-1-1 calls on his IPhone, she believes he was using it to try to get information on how to purchase another ticket using his IPhone.
However, the off-duty sheriff deputies moonlighting as mall security didn’t listen to Saylor’s aide who told them to wait it out. Ethan’s mom was on the way and he just needed some time.
The deputies grabbed Ethan out of his seat. A heavy guy weighing 294 lbs, they drug him to the door and face-down, three deputies were on him in a heap putting on handcuffs, with Ethan on the bottom. Witnesses say that Ethan cried out “Ouch!” “Don’t touch me!” “I need help, Mommy.” Then he went silent. When the officers realized Ethan was no longer breathing, they turned him over and tried to resuscitate him.
Ethan’s mom was 5 minutes away from the theater when she received a call diverting her to the hospital.
An autopsy showed that Ethan’s larynx had been crushed and he died by suffocation. The medical examiner ruled Ethan Saylor’s death a homicide.
David Tolleson, Executive Director of the National Down Syndrome Congress, stated, “Advancements for people with disabilities have created more opportunities for inclusion in society, which means more people with disabilities are more likely to be “out in the community. It is critical that law enforcement agencies learn strategies on how to ‘support, serve and protect’ people with disabilities”
A grand jury cleared the three officers of wrongdoing. The case inflamed disability groups, some of which have started online petitions to demand justice for Ethan. Ethan’s sister has started a petition on change.org, requesting Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to conduct an independent investigation and formal training of police.
More on this story here.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.