After a police-involved shooting, when you hear the spokesman say it was “accidental,” you might start to feel a little better. The victim wasn’t purposefully shot. It was an accident, a misunderstanding, and thankfully he survived. The policeman didn’t mean to shoot the guy while he had his hands up and was complying with their instructions and lying on the ground. Because shooting an unarmed man purposefully in that situation would be very, very bad.
But, for families like mine, this particular accidental shooting is still very, very bad.
Here’s the part that keeps me up at night (quoted from the CNN report below):
“Please be still … get down … lay on your stomach,” Kinsey says in the video.
The man beside him rocks back and forth.
Charles Kinsey, a behavioral therapist, was accidentally shot because the officer was aiming for Kinsey’s client. His autistic client, who could be my son. A 23-year-old non-verbal man, just six years older than my own, whose actions were misunderstood.
I don’t really believe in any of that “Be careful what you wish for” stuff, as if fate is going to grab your words out of the air and make you regret them.
But I do know that there are times when some naïve comment you’ve made in the past takes on new meaning. Your brain revives a tucked away memory at just the right moment to remind you how clueless you once were. To keep you humble, I guess.
By the time our son was officially diagnosed with autism, two months shy of his third birthday, my husband and I mostly knew it was coming.Read More
We had set up a screening with our state’s early intervention program. Although our “wait and see” pediatrician had finally given us a referral, the only developmental specialist in our area didn’t take our insurance and had a months-long wait.Read More
When my kid was eighteen months old, and we were still a year away from the diagnosis that would give a name to his speech delay, I got a head start on disability awareness through a work project.
In the spring of 2001, I was hired as the project historian for a multimedia theatre production based on the writings and reflections of Sam L., a local 56-year-old man with cerebral palsy.
Born in 1944, Sam grew up during an era of incredible transformation for those with disabilities in this country, and his stories reflected those changes. I was brought on to collect information, photographs, and video clips to provide key historical context for Sam’s story.Read More