Stop United States police killings of people with disabilities


This video from the USA says about itself:

Man With Down Syndrome Killed Over A Movie Ticket | Police & The Disabled

12 October 2013

“On Jan. 12, Robert “Ethan” Saylor of Frederick County, Md., a 26-year-old man with Down syndrome and an IQ of 40, died of asphyxiation after a confrontation with three off-duty police officers. He was being restrained for attempting to see “Zero Dark Thirty” for a second time without a ticket. According to witnesses, Saylor’s last words included “it hurt” and “call my mom.”

Saylor’s ashes now sit in the family’s living room while the three officers continue their usual shifts. No charges have been filed.” The Young Turks hosts Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian break it down.

From the People with Disabilities Caucus in the USA:

Letter to San Francisco Mayor

CLICK HERE to send email messages to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and City Attorney Dennis Herrera saying POLICE CANNOT BE EXEMPT from the Americans with Disabilities Act!

Please ACT NOW!

Help stop police killings of people with disabilities!

A case before U.S. Supreme Court seeking police exemption from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has critical importance for all those seeking to stop unwarranted police killings. This case involves police shootings of people with mental illnesses. Your intervention is needed to stop the high court from using this case to strengthen the hand of the police and lessen police accountability in the killings of people with disabilities. The ADA mandates accommodations for those with disabilities.

Even with the ADA in place, at least half of the people shot and killed by police each year in this country have mental health problems, according to a recent study (TACReports.org). In many cases, police who used deadly force were called by family or neighbors to help get an individual mental health care. Many of those killed were people of color. It would be especially chilling if police are exempted from the ADA.

Oral arguments in the case Sheehan v. San Francisco, brought before the Supreme Court by the city of San Francisco, are set for March 23. More than 40 civil rights and disability activist groups have signed a letter urging San Francisco officials to drop the appeal, warning that it imperils the ADA, the most important piece of protective legislation that people with disabilities have. They ask that concerned people join this write-in campaign.

Please join this crucial effort. Click the link to e-mail San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and City Attorney Dennis Herrera to urge them to drop their appeal. (Text of Letter follows). The Americans with Disabilities Act needs to be expanded and enforced, not gutted. Having a disability must not be a death sentence!

Please ACT NOW!

The letter begins here:

Ed Lee, Mayor, City and County of San Francisco

City Hall, 1 Doctor Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 200

San Francisco, CA 94102

mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org

Dennis Herrera

City Attorney, City and County of San Francisco

City Hall, 1 Doctor Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 234

San Francisco, CA 94102

cityattorney@sfgov.org

Dear Mayor Lee and City Attorney Herrera:

I/we join more than 42 civil rights and disability rights groups and many progressive individuals in urging you to withdraw your appeal in the case of City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan currently pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. Your appeal could result in the Supreme Court exempting police from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the most comprehensive civil rights law for individuals with disabilities. Your appeal puts the ADA at risk, and could lead to an increase in unwarranted police killings of people with disabilities.

People with disabilities need the ADA’s protections when they encounter law enforcement. A 2013 study by the Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Sherriff’s Association revealed that at least half of the people shot and killed by police are people with mental disabilities. Many times these police had been called to help a person in psychiatric crisis. Often police who are first on the scene quickly respond with deadly force, without waiting for a unit specially trained to deal with people with disabilities to arrive.

In San Francisco, the figures are even higher. A local review of 51 San Francisco police involved shootings between 2005 and 2013 found that 58% of the 19 shootings of people killed by police had a psychiatric disability.

People with many types of disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, emotional disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, diabetes, epilepsy and deafness, face dangerous and often deadly consequences when law enforcement officials fail to honor the ADA.

The ADA needs to be expanded and honored, especially when it comes to encounters with police. Having a disability must not be a death sentence!

(Initiated by Workers World Party)


People with Disabilities Caucus

DisabilityButton

Support Disabled Liberation

Contact the Caucus via:

disabilitycaucusww@gmail.com;

212-633-6646

“Are you going to kill me?” That was the last thing Rubén García Villalpando reportedly asked Grapevine, Texas, Police Officer Robert Clark before Clark answered his question – in the affirmative. According to witnesses, García Villalpando had his hands up when Clark shot him twice, February 20, in Euless, Texas – a city technically outside the officer’s jurisdiction: here.

BLACK UVA STUDENT BLOODIED BY LIQUOR POLICE IN ARREST: “Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday asked state police to investigate the arrest of a black University of Virginia undergraduate by state liquor agents that left the student bloodied and needing 10 stitches in his head.” [Tyler Kingdale, HuffPost]

Finnish punk rockers with disabilities to Eurovision Song Contest


This video from England says about itself:

21 December 2014

Finnish punks Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (PKN) at the Lexington, London.

After Finnish hard rock band Lordi, who participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006, and won (dressed like dinosaurs) …

From the BBC:

1 March 2015

Finland punk band PKN set for Eurovision

A punk band made up of men with learning disabilities is to represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest.

The quartet, named PKN, was chosen by Finnish viewers on Saturday and has now been ranked by bookmakers as among the favourites for the contest.

The group, whose members have Down’s syndrome and autism, will perform their 85-second song Aina Mun Pitaa (I Always Have To) at the event in Vienna in May.

“Every person with a disability ought to be braver,” singer Kari Aalto said.

“He or she should themselves say what they want and do not want,” he told Finnish broadcaster YLE.

The group – full name Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat (Pertti Kurikka’s Nameday) – will also become the first punk band to compete at Eurovision.

They first got together during a charity workshop and appeared in an award-winning 2012 documentary called The Punk Syndrome.

This Finnish video says about itself:

The Punk Syndrome – Kovasikajuttu

12 February 2015

A Finnish punk-rock band formed by four mentally disabled guys.

The BBC article continues:

The song deals with the frustration of the rules of daily life, like having to eat healthily and doing chores like cleaning and washing up.

‘Changing attitudes’

“We are rebelling against society in different ways, but we are not political,” bassist Sami Helle told The Guardian.

“We are changing attitudes somewhat, a lot of people are coming to our gigs and we have a lot of fans.

“We don’t want people to vote for us to feel sorry for us, we are not that different from everybody else – just normal guys with a mental handicap.”

They are 5/1 to win the contest, according to Betfred, making them third favourites behind Italy and Estonia.

Heavy metal band Lordi gave Finland its only Eurovision win to date with Hard Rock Hallelujah in 2006.

The UK’s Eurovision entrant will be named on Saturday.

British child abuser Sir Jimmy Savile and his political connections


This video from Britain says about itself:

Jimmy Savile & Margaret Thatcher

16 October 2012

Why were Savile and Thatcher, strange bedfellows however you look at it, so close?

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

End the culture of cover-ups

Friday 27th February 2015

HEALTH Secretary Jeremy Hunt pledges, in the wake of the Lampard report into the crimes of Jimmy Savile, that the power of celebrity or money must never again prevent people from exposing wrongdoing.

Savile was utterly brazen in daring NHS officials and police officers to take action against him.

He felt secure in his position as a major charity fundraiser for Stoke Mandeville, where he had a bedroom, a plush office and a master key with access to all areas despite having no qualifications or experience.

His wealth and political connections, not least with Margaret Thatcher at whose Downing Street New Year’s Eve parties he was a permanent fixture, persuaded people not to take him on.

However, Tory MP Dr Phillip Lee, who worked briefly at Stoke Mandeville, is surely correct in saying that, if junior staff were aware of what Savile was doing, senior managers and clinicians must also have done.

Turning a blind eye to abuse of patients, visitors, staff members and others for fear of losing the charity funds his activities generated was a gross betrayal of the victims’ right to personal security.

Labour shadow health secretary Andy Burnham’s call for a formal inquiry into accountability for failure to investigate this serial predator’s crimes must be supported.

Those in positions of influence who chose not to speak to the Lampard inquiry should be subpoenaed to give evidence and explain their roles.

Many people will be shocked to learn that there is no legal compulsion on NHS staff to blow the whistle on people suspected of abusing patients.

That legal loophole must be closed so that people in authority cannot encourage embarrassing suspicions to be swept under the carpet.

Above all, Savile’s reign of abuse and terror must not be seen as a one-off aberration.

Too many children and vulnerable adults have been disbelieved in a variety of institutions and forced to carry their torment with them.

That culture must end. Complaints must be recorded, investigated and taken as far as required.

Politicians should also consider whether our essential health services should be better funded through taxation rather than being dependent on celebrities organising charity drives for self-aggrandisement.

Jimmy Savile had links right up to top of society. Victims were ignored because of abuser’s connections to the rich and powerful, writes Sadie Robinson: here.

British child abuser Sir Jimmy Savile and the Thatcher government


Jimmy Savile with the prime minister Margaret Thatcher in 1980, the same year she appointed him as a fundraiser for Stoke Mandeville hospital, where he sexually abused people as young as eight. Photograph: PA

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Jimmy Savile given free rein to sexually abuse 60 people, report finds

Damning reports point finger at politicians, civil servants and senior NHS staff but stop short of holding anyone accountable

Sandra Laville and Josh Halliday

Thursday 26 February 2015 19.28 GMT

Politicians, civil servants and NHS managers gave Jimmy Savile free rein to sexually abuse 60 people, including children as young as eight, over two decades at Stoke Mandeville hospital, two damning reports have concluded.

Savile’s celebrity status, his connections with the then prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, and with royalty, and his role as a fundraiser allowed him unfettered access to patients, staff and visitors at the Buckinghamshire hospital. Over 20 years he brazenly used that power and access to rape, sexually abuse, harass, intimidate and silence his victims who ranged in age from eight and 40.

A report into Savile’s activities at Stoke Mandeville by Dr Androulla Johnstone and Christine Dent said the BBC celebrity’s reputation as a sexual predator was an “open secret” yet he was able to go about his business not only unchallenged but also with the perception of sanction from the senior hierarchy. The report stopped short, however, of holding senior managers accountable, saying there was no evidence they were aware of Savile’s behaviour, despite junior staff saying it was widely known.

On 10 occasions, vulnerable patients complained about his sexual abuse to staff, their parents and to teachers, but they were either not believed or ignored, the report said. A supervisor tried to raise concerns to higher management but was reprimanded, patients who complained to nurses were told to stay silent, and one victim who told his headteacher was laughed at.

Kate Lampard, who carried out an independent review of Savile’s activities across the NHS, said in her report, also published on Thursday: “Savile’s status and influence … was enhanced by the endorsement and encouragement he received from politicians, senior civil servants and NHS managers. His access within NHS hospitals gave Savile the opportunity to commit sexual abuses on a grand scale for nearly 50 years.”

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, said in a statement to the Commons that the power of celebrity or money must never again blind people to repeated clear signs that vulnerable individuals were being abused.

He said people were “too dazzled or too intimidated by the nation’s favourite celebrity to confront the evil predator we now know he was”.

However, Liz Dux, a lawyer at Slater and Gordon who represents 44 of Savile’s victims, said the report had been met with “crushing disappointment” because it held no one accountable.

“It beggars belief that a report which has revealed Savile was widely known as a sex pest at Stoke Mandeville can find no evidence of management responsibility,” Dux said.

“Ten victims had reported their assaults to nursing staff on the ward, including one complaint being made to management, yet still his deviant and sickening behaviour continued.”

She said the revelation in the report that three other doctors had committed serious sexual offences at the hospital in the past four decades suggested “something seriously amiss”.

Savile abused victims as soon as he started frequenting Stoke Mandeville in 1968, the report said. He became a porter at the hospital, having been invited in by a fellow porter who had worked with Savile at Leeds General Infirmary, where the DJ had also abused patients.

“He was a nightmare … he was vile,” a staff nurse told the inquiry. Others described how, when he turned up in a ward, a “Jimmy Savile alert would go out and we’d all disappear”.

Savile’s victims at Stoke Mandeville included an eight-year-old boy, and a girl, also eight, who was raped at least 10 times by Savile when she visited relatives there. One victim was systematically abused in the chapel by Savile, who was often accompanied by another, unnamed man. “Every time I went in that room I just knew he would touch me wherever he wanted to touch me,” she said.

A 12-year-old girl was raped by Savile in the television room. She returned to her ward and told a nurse that a porter, Savile, had “hurt me, down there”. She was told not to say anything, otherwise the nurse would get into trouble. Later that night Savile appeared at the girl’s bedside and sexually assaulted her again. Alone in her room afterwards, the child tore a page from a Bible in the room and wrote two notes asking for her father.

She posted them into a red post box in a corridor outside the ward, hoping someone would contact him; no one did.

In 1980 a clinical supervisor tried to escalate the concerns of students who had told her of sexually inappropriate behaviour by Savile at their accommodation block. But the supervisor was “reprimanded for interfering”.

Between 1972 and 1985 nine informal verbal complaints and one formal report were made about Savile by his victims. Johnstone found that none of the complaints were “either taken seriously or escalated to senior management”.

The formal complaint in 1977 came from the father of an 11-year-old girl who was sexually abused by Savile in a treatment room. The girl screamed hysterically, and a senior nurse arrived but told her to be quiet, saying Savile would not do such a dreadful thing and he raised a great deal of money for the hospital.

The incident “was serious and should have led to Savile’s suspension from the hospital and a formal police report being made”, Johnstone said. “There can be no excuses made in relation to ‘what was acceptable at the time’ or ‘how children were perceived’. This was a serious allegation and should have been investigated fully as it was reported to a hospital manager.”

The report revealed how Savile’s charitable work and status within the hospital were boosted by Thatcher, who in 1980 sponsored him as the lead fundraiser and commissioning project manager for a £10m campaign to rebuild the spinal injuries unit (NSIC) – a move which gave him “virtually uncontested authority and control”. Savile flattered Thatcher during several meetings, including trips to Chequers, the prime minister’s country residence.

In one letter to Thatcher, he wrote: “Dear PM I waited a week before writing to thank you for my lunch invitation because I had such a superb time … My girl patients pretended to be madly jealous and wanted to know what you wore. All the paralysed lads called me Sir James, they all love you, me too!!”

He was also supported in his new position by Dr Gerard Vaughan, a health minister at the time, who rode roughshod over concerns and policies to give Savile free rein, the report said.

“No member of parliament or the Department of Health and Social Services, to our knowledge, knew about Savile’s sexual abuse activities,” but there were major consequences of their actions.

“First there was an ongoing dependence on Savile’s charitable funds which ensured his continued position of power and influence at the hospital which was often detrimental to service management,” she said. “Second, Savile was able to access a new cohort of victims for his sexual abuse in the guise of young charity fundraisers to the hospital.”

David Clay, who was made general manager of the NSIC in 1983, said Savile acted as if he was God. “It was Jimmy Savile’s kingdom.”

By the time Ken Cunningham was appointed in 1991 as unit general manager at the hospital he was shocked by the power wielded by Savile, who by then had a bedroom/office installed with a Berber carpet, a flip-down bed, a large leather sofa and a gold letter box.

“This was a man who had the ear of royalty, prime ministers … It worried me that there was someone who could buy the loyalty and friendship of senior staff,” he said.

In 1993, when Stoke Mandeville became an NHS trust, Savile’s rule began to be challenged and the inquiry said his sexual abuse stopped around 1992. But the patients he attacked were left to deal with abuse which was not believed and continues to scar their adult lives.

“I didn’t know what had happened,” said one victim. “I didn’t understand what had happened. I knew it felt wrong and I felt dirty and I wanted to clean myself and I just wanted to wash myself again and again … I did not understand … I could not even explain to myself what had happened.”

PROLIFIC sex offender Jimmy Savile was able to gain a “position of authority and power” at Stoke Mandeville Hospital due to the backing of Margaret Thatcher and her ministers, a damning new report found yesterday. Savile was “sponsored” in his role as lead fundraiser and project manager in the 1980 rebuilding of the hospital’s national spinal injuries centre by the Tory leader, report author Dr Androulla Johnstone said: here.