Disability and Policing | The Regulatory Review

Opinion | Rights | Feb 23, 2017Disability and Policing

Britney Wilson

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Existing rules can help ensure police use best practices for interacting with those who have special needs.

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Video footage of Miami-Dade police officers arresting Mary Brown—a Black woman and double amputee—for panhandling outside of a gas station recently went viral. In the video, police handcuff Brown, who tells the officers to “stop hurting [her].” In the course of being transported from her wheelchair to the police car, Brown falls. The officers leave her on the ground and discuss whether they have gloves to pick her up while she asks for assistance.

After the incident, the Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, Juan J. Perez, called the arrest “appropriate,” but instructed his Department to contact disability rights organizations to determine whether the Department was using best practices for interacting with people with special needs.

As I argued in my article, “#BlackDisabledLivesMatter,” and as the encounter with Brown further demonstrates, issues of [...]

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