Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Police Violence and Disability

I co-write a new piece just published by The Atlantic on police violence and disability. My co-author is Lawrence Carter-Long, communications director for the National Council on Disability. I'm really honored to have worked with him and hope that more collaborations with the NCD follow.

There's nothing surprising in this piece for readers of this blog, but for new people, I've been writing about Ethan Saylor for well over a year now, on the blog, in The Nation, for CNN, and beyond. My points are always these:

1) What happened to Ethan was wrong and was correctable with better training or, frankly, just a little common sense and patience.
2) Due to the nature of disability, it could happen to you or your loved ones too, even if you are not presently disabled.
3) Such incidents reflect a much bigger cultural problem - a focus on compliance over all other principles, including civil liberties. I call it the "Cult of Compliance." This link is to one definition page but if you search the tag compliance, you'll see lots more.

Please read the piece. Comment there or here (here if you want me to see it). I'm thrilled there was a Senate hearing, but we need to do much more.