Florida deputies to be tried for shooting disabled man

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that two Brevard County Deputy Sheriffs must stand trial for their shooting of an unarmed man inside his home, when family members asked law enforcement officers to Baker Act the disabled man. The appellate panel, consisting of Circuit Judges Adalberto Jordan, Britt Grant, and Frank Hull, reversed an order granting summary judgment in favor of the officers, finding that significant factual issues must be decided by the jury. The deputies fired thirteen bullets at the victim, eleven of which went through a closed door with the victim standing inside his home where he lived alone snice his elderly parents died two months earlier. Eight bullets struck Christopher Greer through the closed door, resulting in his fatal injuries at the scene. The case will now return to the District Court for the Middle District of Florida for a jury trial on the Civil Rights and excessive force counts. The Eleventh Circuit held that “the task of weighing the credibility of police testimony against other evidence is the stuff of which jury trials are made.” Plaintiff’s counsel and National Trial Lawyers members Douglas R. Beam and Riley H. Beam of Douglas R. Beam, P.A.  Benedict P. Kuehne and Michael T. Davis, of Kuehne Davis Law, P.A., and Marjorie Gadarian Graham issued a statement that “police shootings of innocent citizens are on the rise, and we applaud the Eleventh Circuit’s directive that juries are well-suited to the task of deciding whether the police are in fact responsible when using excessive force.” As the Eleventh Circuit explained, the “clearly established law” is that shooting a person through a closed door who has done nothing threatening and never posed an immediate danger violates the Fourth Amendment to be free from the use of excessive force.” Plaintiff’s counsel are anxious to “bring this outrageous police shooting to a jury to hold the Brevard Sheriff’s Office responsible for this senseless disregard of a decent man’s life.”

Lawsuits over making websites more accessible for disabled

disabled websiteA number of websites are facing lawsuits that claim the sites aren’t easily accessible for disabled users. For example, Vox and The Hollywood Reporter say that Beyonce was sued in January over her website being inaccessible because it has a “purely visual interface.” As you may know, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires websites to be more accessible and consider those which aren’t in violation of the civil rights of disabled users because they limit communication and participation in society. The National Associations of the Deaf has also sued Netflix, by not providing equal access to its “watch instantly” streaming video. You might think the problem would be getting better with awareness, but Vox reports it’s only getting worse. 

Disabled senior swindled out of savings by son

disabilityAn 81-year-old disabled senior is seeking advice after signing over his life savings to his son, who he says is refusing to return the money. In a letter to The Moneyist at Marketwatch, the man says he financially supported his son, an artist, for years after raising him alone following a divorce. The disabled parent had planned to move into a long-term care facility, and his son advised him to place his savings in the son’s name for protection. However, after the father’s plans changed, he says his son is refusing to transfer his savings back into his name. What kind of advice would you offer the senior? Read more about the dilemma at Marketwatch. 

Helping young disabled people transition into adulthood

A new program in the South Side of Chicago is helping young disabled students make the often-difficult transition into living independently as an adult. Politico Magazine describes it as sort of a community college for special education students. Southside Occupational Academy was created to help students with intellectual and developmental disabilities prepare for living on their own and possibly getting a job. Read more about this unique school in this article at Politico Magazine.