Saturday, January 07, 2017

Beating of Disabled Teenager Highlights a Crime That Often Goes Unpunished

From NYT:(...) "The victim in the attack here, an 18-year-old white man, suffered from schizophrenia and attention deficit disorder, prosecutors said in court papers filed on Friday. The four accused attackers, ranging in age from 18 to 24, are black. The four appeared on Friday in Cook County Circuit Court and Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil ordered them held without bail.

"The defendants are accused of multiple felonies, including hate crimes. Prosecutors said the victim, who was found by the police on Tuesday, was targeted based on his race and his disability. During a Facebook video made by one of the defendants, another can be heard denouncing white people, and, at one point, a man is heard saying he does not care if the victim is schizophrenic.

(...) "People with disabilities are more than twice as likely to be the victims of violent crimes as those without disabilities, according to a Justice Department report based on Census Bureau surveys. And people with mental disabilities are the most likely to be victimized.

(...) "Advocates have said the underlying problem is a pervasive attitude, conscious or not, that people with disabilities are not fully human. They pointed to a recent case in Idaho, where a white high school football player was charged with shoving a coat hanger into the rectum of another teenager, who was black and had mental disabilities, after having harassed the student and directed racial slurs at him for months.

"Though the accused student was 18 at the time of the assault, he was sentenced to probation rather than prison.

(...) "Forty-six of the 50 states have hate crimes laws, according to the Anti-Defamation League, but 17 of them do not specify people with disabilities as a protected group." Read the article: Beating of Disabled Teenager Highlights a Crime That Often Goes Unpunished by Mitch Smith and Richard Pérez-Peña,January 6, 2017 The New York Times