Okay, this is really important.
this is much needed right now in the midst of everything else we’ve been doing in solidarity for mike - let’s not forget how Black, disabled folks are also targets, especially those with autism, due to behaviors cops love to read as “aggressive”, on top of their racism.
My mom and I were shaken after Trayvon Martin’s murder because my brother is an (white) autistic young man with a smart mouth and a temper sometimes, tics sometimes, etc. Will he be seen as a troublemaker or non-compliant by an officer or “community watch” member because he’s not neurotypical? Because sometimes he has to move his body? Because he’s sarcastic? Because he gets frustrated when he has to repeat himself?
The cops in our old town suffocated a
mentally retarded* intellectually disabled man to death in a theater because he wouldn’t leave after the credits. His aide had just stepped out to make a phone call. By the time she came back, he was dead. The cops had forced him onto his knees and then bent him over, which can cause suffocation. They haven’t been punished at all.
I can’t imagine how scared I’d be if we were PoC, or poor, or if my parents didn’t have degrees, or if my brother had a criminal record, however minor, etc. Cops are meant to protect everyone, not just everyone they like and identify with.
edit: someone kindly reminded me that “mentally retarded” is not the correct phrase anymore, so I’ve changed it to what currently is considered correct (according to wikipedia :P) I apologize for using the wrong term.
Unfortunately, the nature of the condition means that awful people will start taking whatever phrase is used and calling other people that as an insult, so this is a good reminder to stay current on your nomenclature.