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Argument, Attack or Antecedent: Shooting of Intellectually Disabled Man and his Parents in Costco

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Photo source Rick Shureih

A sad event on Father's Day.

The cousin of a man shot and killed by an off-duty police officer in a California Costco says his relative was nonverbal and couldn't have started the argument that allegedly led to the shooting, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.

Police said the victim, identified by the Corona Police Department as 32-year-old Kenneth French of Riverside, assaulted an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer in an unprovoked attack before the shooting.
The officer, who was reportedly holding a young child while shopping with his family when French allegedly attacked him, shot and killed French and also shot two members of French's family, police said.
Corona police Lt. Jeff Edwards told reporters just after the incident that police believe the shooting resulted from an argument.  More at CNN.

The articles do not say autism, but the photo shows a man with no hint of disability in his demeanor or looks.  He's was a tall, handsome guy who would turn heads and get "swipes" left or right or whatever direction means a Tinder yes.  He was described as non-verbal.  We'll respect that diagnosis is not known at this time.  I think most of us immediately thought "autism," though.

How could an argument happen if Kenneth could not speak? That's hardly a quandary. It's called an antecedent.  Something sets off a behavior.

I'll use my own daughters as an example. They are gorgeous, and at first glance, no one knows they have autism. At first glance. But at any moment, one of my girls might reach out and grab your hand to say "helloooooooooo," with a giggling smile. Seems cute? It scares people when it takes them by surprise. And she's 5' 3" 120 pounds. Another of my girls taps people to get their attention - she does not speak. Sometimes the tap is as light as a feather. Sometimes not. How do you think that's received in a crowded grocery story aisle? Not always well. And rightly so. I try to keep my girls at "eyes on, arm's length," so as not to crowd them and to help them develop independence and have a bit of dignity. They aren't Hannibal Lecter. Kenneth's cousin reports that he was "a gentle giant."

The article says the off duty policeman had a child in his arms. Ah ha. What if Kenneth French LOVED babies and he reached out to touch the baby? How would a father react? What if Kenneth was frightened of babies because he knew they CRY and are loud and so he made a less friendly gesture? How would a father react?  

But how should an off duty police officer react?  With civility and control. We know that officers often fail that test.

We'll follow the story.  Perhaps the officer himself is devastated by his actions. We're so sorry for the French family.

 
 

Comments

Jeanne J

Nhokkanen,

Thank you for posting an update to the story about the shooting of the caregiver of the man with autism, back in 2016. I so remember crying when I saw that story, both for the individuals involved and, for the first time, becoming aware of how vulnerable my then 20 year old son with non-verbal autism was to uninformed law enforcement officers. Now we await the resolution of this current horrible situation. At least the 2016 incident didn't result in a person's death. We knew it was only a matter of time. ):

Irena

George J Mead - Exactly!
And that is nothing short of criminal. My now-adult son is verbal, but he is not only autistic but also deaf. There is no way he could understand and follow the commands in an unfamiliar accent and background noise. I have no the slightest clue on how to keep him safe in public.
We must reverse 1986 NCVIA and give justice to vaccine injured!

nhokkanen

So much for autism awareness. The CDC is creating more vulnerable adults than society has resources to handle, at the same time as Homeland Security priorities are over-militarizing and stressing local police.

The U.S. needs more informational organizations to train law enforcement, such as Autism Risk & Safety Management founded by Dennis Debbaudt.
https://www.autismriskmanagement.com/

Coincidentally today:
“A North Miami police officer who shot an unarmed caregiver of a man with severe autism in 2016 was found guilty of a misdemeanor Monday.”
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/north-miami-officer-who-shot-unarmed-caregiver-man-autism-found-n1018616

Beleaguered Autism Mom

The description I heard on the news said the victim was 32 years old and lives with his parents. I pictured him like my son (clumsier as he gets older) - he does not like crowded noisy places, perhaps he was just trying to get to his favorite orange snacks inside the store, or back to the car on the way home in a hurry, and he bumped the officer as he brushed past. I imagine the parents were running after their son and that got them shot. Seriously, who would be intimidated by that older couple in the photo? Bottom line, the story is three unarmed people were shot while shopping for groceries. Why was a police officer out of uniform carrying a loaded weapon into a grocery store? I don't have sympathy for a man who shoots unarmed people, regardless of how threatening he perceives them to be.

will

If the relatives were also shot in this incendent this is an attempted mass murder. A few decades ago in South Korea an extreme mass murder was an former police officer. Alt-right weaboo(look it up) trash will keep praising how "civilized" Japan and South Korea are. There was that horrible mini genocide incident in Japan a few years ago against disabled people they were not neccesarily autisic.

Donna L.

Should anyone really be carrying a loaded weapon and a small child at the same time?

Angus Files

Could be any one of us of the autistic non-verbal brigade.My son laughs and giggles at ANY baby crying and if he was allowed seeks them out to laugh at if we hear them in a shop.Because we think he has seen many cartoons of babies crying and in the context are meant to be funny.Thats where most of his most annoying behaviours come from cartoons.All the slapstick but he tries to put the slapstick humour into reality like trying to push us off cliffs and he would be really annoyed if he succeeded and we never inflated ourselves and sprung back up after hitting the road from a 60ft drop- really pissed he would be not to mention flooding,fire starting etc (all done in the best possible taste).RIP young man God will take care of you now..


Pharma For Priosn

MMR RIP

George J Mead

Given the carte blanche our legal system has given to police, I would quite literally advise anyone who is not fully fluent in English to avoid this country altogether. Police have come to expect - demand actually - that their "commands" be instantaneously complied with. It is irrelevant that the person being "commanded" actually hear and understand the command. Failure to comply to the officers satisfaction, (and this is critical, you may think you ARE complying but it is the officer's sole discretion as to whether or not you are), is absolute grounds for summary execution, followed immediately by trial and conviction, oh yea, and a minimum two week paid vacation for the officer.

This is a major danger to the rapidly exploding adult autistic population, (that has always been here ...).

Bob Moffit

"We'll follow the story. Perhaps the officer himself is devastated by his actions. We're so sorry for the French family."

I wholeheartedly agree … act in haste .. repent in leisure.

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