Science Summary: Adjuvants and Vaccines-Induced Autoimmunity: Animal Models
The Age of Polio: Explosion. Part 14.

Fear at the Intersection of Race and Autism – Part 1

Autistic people of colorBy Nancy Hokkanen

If anything good might come from the senseless July 18 shooting of group home aide Charles Kinsey, it would be to shock more citizens into becoming advocates for civil rights and preventing gun violence.

The incident also spotlights (1) the need for autism awareness information that reaches all police forces and the crime-reporting public, and (2) educational content that portrays a broader representation of real-world autistic behaviors.

Kinsey, a behavior therapist, was shot once in the leg by a police officer while trying to retrieve Arnaldo Rios-Soto, a young man with autism who had run away from a group home. Police were first called to the scene by 911 callers who misinterpreted the two men’s interactions. One call described a “possible suicidal man with a gun” – yet neither man was armed, and Rios-Soto was just holding a toy truck.

One video taken before the shooting shows Kinsey, who is black, lying on the ground on his back, empty hands in the air, calmly explaining the situation to North Miami police officer Jonathan Aledda. “All he has is a toy truck. A toy truck. I am a behavioral therapist at a group home,” Kinsey told the officer.

That video does not show what Officer Aledda did next: he fired three shots, one of which hit Kinsey, who was then handcuffed and left on the ground bleeding for 20 minutes. Later from his hospital bed Kinsey recalled, “I’m saying, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ and his words to me were, ‘I don’t know.’” Officer Aledda, a SWAT team member, said in his official statement, “I did what I had to do in a split second.”

Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who also is black, said seeing the video “felt like a nightmare”: “If you’re ever stopped by the police — freeze, don’t move. That’s number one on the brochure that we created... What else could we have told him? What could have saved him from being shot?”

Members of the advocacy group The Circle of Brotherhood visited the North Miami police station July 20 asking for answers about Kinsey's case.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and state attorney’s office are investigating the shooting. Commander Emile Hollant was suspended without pay after giving conflicting statements to investigators. Miami-Dade police union rep John Rivera claimed Officer Aleddo had actually been trying to save Kinsey’s life – instead he had actually aimed at the autistic man. Disability advocates have justifiably been outraged over the horrific ethical and civil rights implications of that statement.

“To say that we didn’t mean to shoot the African-American guy, we meant to shoot the guy with the disability, makes the person’s life worth nothing,” said Matthew Dietz, an attorney for the Soto family. Dietz said Rios-Soto was held almost four hours in a police car and is traumatized.

What conditions in law enforcement departments might have contributed to this seemingly inexplicable shooting?

Human rights advocates such as the American Civil Liberties Union note the increased militarization of local police forces since the terrorist attacks of 9/11. To deal with local terror cells, law enforcement departments nationwide have received increased funding to purchase heavy equipment such as tanks and helicopters, and surveillance devices such as drones and hand-held facial recognition units.

Gun range practice involves repetition, the shooting of hundreds of bullets, which reinforces motor skills. But what are the full effects of repeatedly firing at human targets? Coincidentally – or not – last year North Miami police suspended a sniper training program that used old mug shots of black suspects during target practice. One day when Army Sgt. Valerie Deant used the range, to her horror she saw a photograph of her brother with a bullet through his head. It’s reasonable to assume that repeated use of such photographs could cause negative psychological conditioning, to the point of racism.

Granted, the “split second” decision to shooting that Officer Aledda emphasized is just that. Leading to one’s decision to shoot are thought processes based on our cultural filters and related emotions. The recent tit-for-tat shootings of police and black men evoke hair-trigger emotions, which can connect too quickly with trigger fingers. Also affecting officers’ judgment are military-style carry-over problems such as PTSD, drug and alcohol abuse, and misuse of psychotropic medications.

One expert on the use of lethal force is Massad Ayoob, author of In The Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection. A shooter may be adversely affected by startle reflex, postural disturbance, or inter-limb response. “In a stressful moment like this, any number of stimuli can cause a convulsion of the trigger finger that kills an unarmed man who has just surrendered to you,” Ayoob said.

Where can police departments learn to recognize the attributes of autism?

  • In Miami, the Disability Independence Group offers free training and identification tools for both the Autistic Community and law enforcement, which we developed in conjunction with the Coral Gables Police Department and UM/NSU Card.
  • For more than 20 years Dennis Debbaudt of Autism Risk and Safety Management has provided training for law enforcement and emergency responders.
  • The National Autism Association offers a variety of autism safety information, such as wandering.
  • Some autism parents have brought their children to their local police stations, introduced themselves, and explained their child’s behaviors.

One big roadblock involves shifting current budgetary priorities. Leon County, Florida Sheriff Mike Wood said in the past two years, additional police training about autistic individuals failed due to cost. Florida spends $67 annually per officer. “There are circumstances like that that aren’t necessarily with evil intent, but when you have a lack of training, a lack of preparation, these things occur,” Wood said.

For Gladys Soto, mother of Arnaldo Rios-Soto, the priority is clear: Educate. “When they see a person with autism rocking on the ground, sitting cross-legged with a truck, rocking back and forth, they should have known that we may have a person with autism here,” said Soto.

Nancy Hokkanen is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.

Comments

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nhokkanen

And when police gun training goes horribly wrong....
This time an elderly white female librarian died, in another Florida tragedy:

"A former Minnesota woman was fatally shot by an officer while participating in a 'shoot-don't shoot' exercise during a two-hour citizens academy hosted by the Punta Gorda Police Department in southwest Florida."

https://kstp.com/national/minnesota-woman-accidentally-shot-florida-police-exercise/4229373/

Kendra

There was no "split second" decision. The police were on the scene for 15 minutes before a shot was fired.

Grace Green

Benedetta, there is a diagnosis used, "reactive depression" which means depression caused by reaction to adverse circumstances. It may well turn out that many psychotic illnesses are actually caused by inflammation, but we are still trying to prove that with regard to "autism", which is why I think it so important that we keep saying to the medical community that it is not psychological. In my experience, by psychological they mean "you're imagining it", "it's an emotional problem", "you've done it to yourself", and other excuses to avoid admitting that they poisoned us. Having SBC say it's biological not psychological is a psychiatrist beginning to come over to our side.

Jeanne J

Autism Uncle
Apparently, you have a few of your facts wrong. The person who shot the behavioral therapist was a male, and a member of the SWAT team. I am fairly certain that he has to periodically re-qualify for marksmanship, in order to maintain his status as a member of the SWAT unit. If in fact he discharged his weapon three times, hit the victim once vs. the so-called perpetrator, and he says this is what he had to do in a split second, then I think he either needs to be retrained or find another line of work. And then how does he justify handcuffing the victim and leaving him to bleed on the concrete for 20 minutes. Or let’s consider the alternative – would it have been better had he actually shot the man with autism, holding what you would presume anyone with SWAT training could tell was not a gun, handcuffed him, and let him bleed on the concrete for 20 minutes? This officer’s split second decision was poor, at best, and, thank God, was not deadly at worst. You don’t come with guns drawn to stop someone who is supposedly suicidal. We have got to stop justifying the poor training of those who are charged with the safety of their community. We need police officers to be better trained on the use of deadly force. We need first responders to be better trained in how to manage individuals with a developmental disability. If we are going to hold the CDC responsible for the carnage they have inflicted on trying to cover up the dangers of vaccines, then we have got to hold the police responsible for attempting to cover up for the tragedies that occur with poor training.

annie

It would be interesting to know if Mr Soto's autism is vaccine induced. If so, talk about being at the cross-roads of vaccine violence and police brutality; at the root of of each - institutional racism. I wonder if Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (who authored a federal vaccine mandate bill) is aware of the data that the CDC threw in a trash can concerning African-American male babies and that date at which they are exposed to the MMR? It seems as if she may need to "reach across the aisle" and take a meeting with Congressman Bill Posey.

Linda1

Talk about police brutality. Check out the photo in this story. The human arm doesn't move that way.
(relevant story too)

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/they-said-my-son-intended-to-assassinate-donald-trump-and-my-world-just-stopped/ar-BBv2Uzl?li=BBnb7Kz

Benedetta

I put LOL right after telling about my cousin's horrible life. It was an embarrassed - and nervous LOL. Sorry I did that. Nothing funny about it.

Because my cousin was in trouble with the law; my uncle and his family have been treated poorly by the system too.

My uncle died in Jan of 2015 and he was still mad at the court system as far as he was concerned getting 10,000 dollars off of him. He gave it as bail money - because his son had pneumonia and they wanted better treatment. They did not know that there was a stipulation besides just showing back up - there was a drug test attached. And he was in the throws of drug addiction at the time.

My cousin was not allowed to attend his Father's funeral, but for 300 dollar charge from the family they would send him in leg and arm cuffs with a guard, early in the morning around 7:00 to at least to see his Father one more time. 300 dollars for a couple of hours. They released him three months later.

When they released him - no one would hire him. He is now 50.

The system is hard and cruel and overwhelmed and then you have those with in the system that is sucking money from the families which is really wrong. So- White or Black I can see why there is anger and I can see that the police - are of course not always in the right - every time - but I see that they are overwhelmed by mental illness.

Make n

Linda1

Autism Uncle,

"You are 99.999% wrong our black (aka African American) populace is badly treated by our police;"

Unless you are not only a man or woman or child of color and have eyes everywhere at all times, you can't possibly know that.

Aimee Doyle

@autism uncle

Charles Kinsey was lying flat on his back with his hands up...he was shot and handcuffed and left bleeding on the ground for 20 minutes before an ambulance came. It's hard to see how he was "fighting the officers." Why did this happen? Even when the officer realized the wrong person had been targeted, why was he left on the ground to (possibly) bleed out? A leg wound can be fatal.

I also find it horrific that the officer stated the shots were intended for the autistic man - who clearly was playing with a toy truck. My son is 26 and I could see him wandering from a group home and being unresponsive to officers' commands. I admire Charles Kinsey's courage in trying to protect this young man. I wonder, in the wake of this shooting, whether other group home staff will now think twice about trying to protect their wards.

Benedetta

We have the highest prison population in the world and that population is made up of both black and white and Hispanics. LOL, my cousin has finally got out of prison - again. His Mom says he will either end up dead - by overdose - I suppose or back in prison -- for the fourth time

The preacher brought a gift to my Mom and Dad for their 70th wedding anniversary this week. It was a picture of a barn, hay wagon and a farm that once upon a time belonged to my Father's grandfather and then to my Mother's uncle. The picture was painted by the preacher's son - who is in federal prison - he has been there for a very long time and will be there for even longer. He is white.

We have police under tremendous pressure. All of these cases differ; we may have had a big black man beating up a store clerk and then turning around to beat up an armed police officer -- now there is something insane there.

Insane also is a police officer shooting some poor black guy with his hands up, laying on the ground as some poor adult man plays with a toy truck. The police officer that shot the laying down black guy, but was aiming for the poor autism guy playing with a truck - - is either a nut or blind. Don't they have to go through some physical exam and have their eyes examined? . I did not know, the police officer was a she - let alone she shot three different rounds.

Biological caused -" a neurological damage not by something psychological, which I define as being an emotional response to social circumstances"

I don't think there ever - ever - ever was emotional cause insanity/mental illness. Oh - I know traumatized and shocked and all that from seeing something like war torn bodies and all that, but I bet we are going to find out that all of these mental illnesses are all inflammatory based and are all the same thing. Soooooo, we all are trying to sort out autism from mental illness. I am not sure you can tease this apart biologically - but only by the DSM book.

Am I wrong?

I have been thinking on this a very long time, since it all has come a knocking on my door. Still thinking on it but have come to some conclusions.

autism uncle

PS to Grace Green,

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with you autism is fundamentally DAMAGE, and NOT a mental illness; the damage being done by any number of toxins, but by far mostly by vaccines' toxins and vaccines' contaminants (caps are my emphasis).

autism uncle

Grace Green,

As to "paymasters" you put at the core of this episode, the CDC is funded by the U.S. Congress who've been conned by CDC, NIH, et al. for many decades. Thus, the humongous catastrophe of vaccines wreaking havoc, and in this case, autism.

ALL police departments are LOCAL, by either solitary cities/towns, Counties, and also State Police funded by State income taxes. It is true, however, the Fed Govt. has polluted our local police departments with federal funding that demand minority hirings, quotas, "minority" staffings, etc, in order to receive such funding.

You are 99.999% wrong our black (aka African American) populace is badly treated by our police; you are just swallowing the BBC propaganda you've been duped into believing. Occasionally, many of my fellow caucasian citizens have been impolitely treated by a policeman (or we perceive we have been), but we don't start fighting the officer(s), and then start groups like BLM that PROMOTE the killing of policemen. You have been very badly misled.

nhokkanen

To "autism uncle":
I was not stirring the pot; I was taking its temperature. Many people of color associate the Kinsey shooting as "racial," as the news reports I've linked to indicate.

I agree that the CDC holds the ultimate responsibility for relentlessly creating generations of children and young adults chronically ill, unable to communicate easily or at all, unable to perform some or all self-care, unable to be financially self-supporting... This does not mean their lives are worth less than others. On the contrary, it means these vulnerable people need and deserve extra help and protection from the able-bodied population.

Angus Files

Terrible I have seen some mistakes made in life but that ranks in the no mistake category , and is in the accidentally on purpose category, he shot what he aimed for..and is needing pulled up for that.


MMR RIP

Linda1

Thank you for this report, Nancy. I was so horrified to read about this. With so many in our population taking all kinds of drugs, including a high percentage on mind altering psych drugs, I wonder how many police officers are impaired by them. Too often their actions don't make any sense.

go Trump

The shooting of the Autism aide worker was beyond a crime,

One likes to support the police, but for them to make a shooting mistake at this "crime scene" in broad daylight is obscene.

It is hard to believe the black population is not lined up outside the CDC every day for what they have done, and for what they continue to do each and every day to our most helpless citizens.

As before, I would hope at some point the "v word" .... VACCINES... comes up in the presidential race.

They need to have a debate where they can ask each other questions, without the damn news media involved at all...

Jeannette Bishop

Important discussion. Perhaps the local sheriff (Constitutionally the highest office in the land?) election is as important to be engaged in as the make-you-think-ok-we're-not-even-so-bothered-anymore-so-as-to-try-to-make-you-think-you-had-a-democratic presidential selection process.

Grace Green

Hi John.

Yes, I agree with your definition of autism, but the neurological impairment is caused by neurological damage not by something psychological, which I define as being an emotional response to social circumstances. That's what I take "biological not psychological" to mean.

I think the fact that our police are not usually armed means that misunderstandings don't have the disastrous results that they do in the USA, and consequently they are not noticed. Also, I think the more able end of the ASD spectrum are more misunderstood because their impairments are not so obvious. I have been abused by most parts of the public sector, for no reason, and explaining my ASD either has no effect or results in being treated as if I'm mentally ill, which I am not.

Autism uncle, I see a racial element in this incident, as described. I also think that Black Lives Matter have not created the situation, but responded to what seems to us over here in the UK as unacceptable treatment of the black community by the USA police. Certainly the CDC are to blame for the autism epidemic, but don't they and the police have the same paymasters?

John Stone

Grace,

Surely, the real point about autism is that it is a neurological/cognitive impairment. It is a sign of the times that British police seem now to fairly well geared up to dealing with autism, when they used to interact all too often catastrophically with autistic individuals just because they were many fewer. Also, of course, British police do not carry firearms except in special circumstances. My understanding is that the police association occasionally vote on this, but I think they realise that doing so would up the stakes in routine incidents, and they choose not to (in a country in which citizens do not carry firearms legally).

autism uncle

Nancy, I sincerely don't think you should associate this incident as "racial"- you are unnecessarily "stirring the pot."

When viewing the video, it's clear the very large autistic boy ( he seemed to be a teenager at least) was within inches of his caretaker, and the boy obviously was oblivious to any commands/instructions by the police.

Yes, a police officer reflexively fired her handgun, with perhaps her mind (just conjecturing here) on the very recently murdered fellow police officers plaguing our country (spurred on by Black Lives Matter). Clearly this officer was quite nervous, as her other two shots caused no wounds.

IF there are ANY villains in the episode, it is our criminal CDC that has poisoned millions of America's babies and children with their Vaccine Agenda that almost certainly CAUSED this boy's autism.

Grace Green

I think it's very important for us all to insist, at every opportunity, that autism is not a mental illness, and be ready to explain that. Remember, even Simon Baron Cohen said autism is biological, not psychological. Most members of the public, media, civil servants, doctors, and our government here in Scotland, have no awareness of that fact. Mental illness to the police probably means suicidal, unpredictable, possibly violent. WE all know autism is quite different from that.

Benedetta

And I just had another thought.

When my daughter some years back was accepted into the nursing accelerated program at my old university and I went with her to help orientate her to the campus; the university has also become a hub for law enforcement training. The day we went; the police officers from the surrounding region was there for additional training for situations like what had just recently happened at Virginia Tech.

My daughter and I even ended up even being interviewed by the local news and ended up on TV.

What does all these mass shootings by - yeah they are crazed people do, and the additional training that police officers go through because of these mass shootings.

Benedetta

I never thought that this might be a result of 911, but that makes sense.
Then I have to think that mental illness is and has been rapidly rising for a number of years and putting pressure on the officers as well.

With the recent killing of police officers - the pressure has increased even more, and further protest by people out in the streets is not helping at all, but making things really worse.
People are protesting with out real thoughts other than it is a race thing -when there are plenty of black officers - as well as plenty of whites being killed. Even in my small county - last year - they killed a man - yeah he was white - on his own property because his girl friend that was not even there, or living with him - called the police on him. He was a recluse; something that we all should consider is part of our own children's vaccine injuries.

Benedetta

This article was helpful This is the kind of stuff the news and Black Lives Matter and --- politicians should be discussing.

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