Excessive Force

Baltimore police report spotlights disability rights violations

Monday, September 5, 2016The Baltimore Police Department systematically violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the civil rights of people with disabilities, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division declared in a 164-page report released August 11. Launched in response to the protests

Agreement reached to overhaul Oregon prison

Monday, January 25, 2016Disability Rights Oregon and the state Department of Corrections have reached a Memorandum of Understanding [PDF], agreeing to reduce solitary confinement and improve services for people with mental illness at the Oregon State Penitentiary’s Behavioral Health Unit. The announcement,…

Lawsuit filed on behalf of handcuffed 8-year-old with ADHD

Monday, August 10, 2015S.R. is an eight-year-old, 52 pound boy with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). One day in Fall 2014, S.R. was removed from his classroom, allegedly for causing disruptive behavior. After S.R. allegedly failed to comply with directions from School Resource Officer Kevin Sumner, he was forced into a chair and handcuffed.

Human Rights Watch slams U.S. for treatment of people with mental disabilities in jails and prisons

Thursday, May 28, 2015Human Rights Watch released a massive new report May 12, documenting numerous examples of “unnecessary, excessive and even malicious” force against people with mental disabilities in jails and prisons through the United States. “Custody staff are not trained in how…

Report documents abuses in Oregon prison

Wednesday, May 6, 2015Disability Rights Oregon released a scathing report May 4 of the Oregon State Penitentiary’s Behavioral Health Unit, accusing state officials of systematically violating the rights of inmates with mental illness. “Even in prison, there are limits to how harshly we…

Disability issues highlighted in Obama Administration policing report

Wednesday, March 11, 2015President Obama’s “Task Force on 21st Century Policing” released its recommendations March 2, many of which highlighted the unique problems faced by people with disabilities in interactions with law enforcement. “Many excellent and specific suggestions emerged from these listening…

Disability advocates urge San Francisco to drop Supreme Court appeal

Wednesday, January 21, 2015More than 40 disability rights and other civil rights groups signed on to a letter sent to San Francisco city officials on January 8, urging the city to withdraw its appeal in a case with significant implications for the role…

Supreme Court to hear police, ADA lawsuit

Monday, December 1, 2014The Supreme Court announced November 25 that it will review a case with significant implications for the applicability of disability discrimination law to police encounters for people with mental illness. The case centers on a police encounter involving Teresa Sheehan,…

Lawsuit filed in theater death case

Tuesday, October 29, 2013The family of Robert “Ethan” Saylor, whose tragic death in early 2013 brought national attention to the issue of police response to disability-related behavior, filed a lawsuit October 17 in federal court. The lawsuit names the Frederick County, Maryland…