Our Nation continues to reckon with the impact of racism and police violence in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta over the weekend, and countless other lives lost. Speaking out on the oppression of any group and against hate and discrimination in its many different forms is part and parcel of what disability rights is all about. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), in partnership with the American Association of People with Disabilities and Green Mountain Self-Advocates, has created a plain language booklet on police violence and anti-black racism to help people understand more how these issues all relate to one another and what people with disabilities can do. See The Arc’s statement that was released following the killing of George Floyd.
On March 9th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, The Arc will be hosting a Facebook Live with Joe Shapiro, the reporter behind NPR’s powerful series on sexual assault and disability. Joe will be joined by Leigh Ann Davis, Director of Criminal Justice Initiatives for The Arc, for a conversation about this serious problem facing individuals with disabilities. There will be time for questions and answers during this Facebook Live event. Tune in and please share with your networks. Find the event on The Arc’s Facebook page.
The Supreme Court issued a 6-3 ruling in the case Moore v. Texas, reversing the death sentence of Bobby Moore. Moore was convicted of killing a store clerk as part of a botched robbery and was sentenced to death. He challenged the sentence on the grounds of intellectual disability. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) ruled that he did not meet its criteria for intellectual disability under the criteria it established in a previous case, Ex Parte Briseno. The “Briseno factors” are not based on any clinical standards, but rather stereotypes derived in part from the character of Lennie in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. Using these standards, the Texas CCA ruled that Moore’s ability to live on the streets, mow lawns, and play pool for money precluded a finding of intellectual disability. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the death sentence, ruling that a state must base its standards for determining intellectual disability on the medical community’s diagnostic framework. For more information, read The Arc’s statement on the Supreme Court decision here.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey found that in 2012, people 12 or older who had disabilities experienced 1.3 million violent crimes, including aggravated assault, sexual assault, robbery, and rape. In 2012, the age-adjusted rate of violent victimization for persons with disabilities (60 per 1,000 persons with disabilities) was nearly three times the rate among persons without disabilities (22 per 1,000 persons without disabilities). To view The Arc’s statement, visit our blog.