Disability

READ: Personnel Jacket Of The Cop Who Shot Charles Kinsey

The North Miami Police Department has released the personnel jacket of officer Jonathan Aledda, the man who shot Charles Kinsey three times in the leg last week.

Here is the document:

 

North Miami Officer Jonathan Aledda Personnel Jacket by Rich on Scribd

Blind Man Sues McDonald’s For Refusing Him Service After Walking Up To The Drive Thru After Hours

A visually impaired man is suing McDonald’s for their drive thrus lack of accessibility, reports NBC NEWS.

According to the affidavit, Scott Magee was refused admission to a McDonald’s after hours, which made him unable to purchase food.

On the date in question, Mr. Magee approached the McDonald’s restaurant and attempted to enter its interior for the purpose of purchasing goods and services.

However, the lobby doors were locked and Mr. Magee was unable to enter Mr. Magee then attempted to walk up to the drive-thru.

The McDonald’s personnel therein refused service to him, laughed, and told him to go away.

Various McDonald’s have driven through service only after a certain time, which would impede customers who cannot drive, according to NBC.

“While McDonald’s sighted customers can independently browse, select, and pay for products at Defendant’s drive-thrus without the assistance of others, blind people must hope for a companion with a car or paid taxi services to assist them in selecting and purchasing McDonald’s food,” the suit claims.

Like this? You can write for us too

Lindsey Wagner, a lawyer who covers various areas of law, including discrimination, explained, “Likely, McDonalds’ position will be either that they’re not denying (the prosecution) access because they could have access with a driver or that changing their drive through services would be an undue burden on them.”

Undue burden is mentioned in section 12182 of the Americans With Disabilities Act, and is described by the ADA’s ‘Reaching Out’ section of their website as “significant difficulty or expense.

Wagner also said that if the outcome falls in the prosecution’s favor, it may bring some changes.

“If it does go to trial, and if the plaintiff is successful in their claim, it would likely mean that McDonald’s would need to make changes for accommodations for those who are blind,” Wagner said. “This might be a new wave of the way that businesses provide services to also make sure that the drive through access also has accommodations for individuals that are visually impaired.”

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Criminalizing Disability: This Autistic Man Arrested For Watching Child Porn Should Not Be Tried

In Miami, a magistrate judge will soon be making an important decision that will have wide implications regarding the character of the United States.

Alberto Rodriguez, a 24-year-old North Miami man admits to viewing a large amount of child pornography. The feds raided his parents home last year and took computers full of the disgusting images of men raping children.

A terrific piece by Jay Weaver in the Miami Herald lays out the situation.

Federal prosecutors are pushing for Rodriguez to be put on trial where, if found guilty, he could serve 20 years in prison. It is up to the magistrate judge to decide whether Rodriguez can stand trial.

I do not believe that Rodriguez should be put on trial or spend another night behind bars for his actions. He had no way of knowing that his actions were wrong, let-alone “illegal” and it is a moral failing of our nation that he has spent months behind bars already.

Rodriguez is autistic and while being “high functioning” when compared to other people on the spectrum, he has the “emotional and intellectual maturity of a 10 to 12 year old child” according to the Herald.

Our society would not stand for a 10-year-old child to be tried for a crime of this magnitude. And we should not stand for this either.

I understand that it is difficult to get past the alleged wrongdoings in this case. Surely interacting with child pornography in any way is shameful and bad for society. We have a duty to protect those that are most vulnerable, and must crack down on those that harm our innocents.

We can not pretend to protect the most vulnerable in our society when we prosecute and criminalize the even more vulnerable.

But Rodriguez is another innocent in this situation and not a criminal.

The hard truth is that our criminal justice system is not equipped to render judgement on the cruel mysteries of the human mind.

Rodriguez has an IQ of 73- which places him in the range of “borderline impaired” according to the Herald.

Of course stupid people can commit crimes. But Rodriguez is not stupid. He is disabled and therefore should be protected by the gross incompetence of a system that can’t even offer equal justice to normally functioning people because of something as simple as their skin color.

From the Herald story:

“[Dr. Jacqueline] Valdes [a neuropsychologist] said his only interests are watching cartoons for young children, playing video games and looking up child pornography-though he does not have a “deep understanding” as to why he got in trouble.”

Let me be clear. Very few autistic adults are searching the web for child porn. This is a very isolated innocent and an uncomfortable situation to be sure. But reality is uncomfortable as anyone that has ever had to face adversity in their lives can attest to. And disabled reality does not play by the same set of rules that we do in the so called “functioning” world.

I have serious doubts about the “education” that Rodriguez received at North Miami Senior High School and as such, his graduation is no indication of intelligence.

The impulse to prosecute Rodriguez is clear and easily understood. He graduated from high school and is able enough to find child porn on the Internet after all, clearly he is competent to stand trial. Not so fast. Put the lynch mob away.

Rodriguez was pushed up the grades at North Miami Senior High School, a school where the night principle was recently arrested for accepting bribes, and the day principle rushed to social media to defend a cop who slammed a black Texas teenager to the ground at a swim party.

And most disgustingly and interesting for this conversation, this is the same high school where four students allegedly gang raped a mentally disabled girl in a darkened janitors closet. The victim had the vocabulary of a toddler and yet the school was so negligent to misplace her for a long enough period of time for her to be orally, anally and vaginally raped by four fellow students. Other than that, I’m sure she was learning a great deal in a safe environment.

According to the Herald, Rodriguez didn’t have to take the FCAT (Florida’s mandated testing battery) and was given a “special” diploma after graduating with a 2.0 flat GPA (how convenient).

I have serious doubts about the “education” that Rodriguez received at North Miami Senior High School and as such, his graduation is no indication of intelligence. This is especially accented because the Herald report indicated that Miami-Dade Public Schools psychologists and Rodriguez’s parents misdiagnosed his autism for ADHD.

It is not clear if he has ever received any treatment or therapy designed for autistic people at any point in his development.

America doesn’t care about autistic adults. They are scary and burdensome. Sometimes they are big and can cause harm. And yes sometimes, one may look at child porn.

But he has received four months of training in a federal jail in North Carolina on how to defend himself in a criminal proceeding. Only in America do we give you the best education you’ve ever had in order to prove that you are a criminal.

The truth is that Rodriguez’s situation is unique only in the extent of what he is being accused of. Millions of disabled people in this country are basically left to fend for themselves.

Our Social Security system deducts entitlement payments from severely autistic adults who live at home because they don’t contribute to the monthly rent, even if they could never hold a job. Police officers are often not trained to deal with disabled people and sometimes kill them. Our public education system does the bare minimum it needs to do under law- and that’s not very much at all.

America doesn’t care about autistic adults. They are scary and burdensome. Sometimes they are big and can cause harm. And yes sometimes, one may look at child porn.

But that is not their failure. It is all of ours. And we should be ashamed of ourselves.

We can not pretend to protect the most vulnerable in our society when we prosecute and criminalize the even more vulnerable, especially when we don’t even care to understand them.

Free Alberto Rodriguez.

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- editor@risenews.net. 

Cover Photo Credit: Aapo Haapanen/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Scroll to top