Thursday, July 8, 2010

Disablism In Havana, Illinois : Where Hate Crime Goes Unpunished

A 16 Year Old boy with Cerebral Palsy has been attacked three times in 2 years and the Sheriff of Havana, Illinois seems to be unable to do anything about it. So, the boy's stepmother has organized a rally to get the Sheriff to finally take some action. According to a local newspaper:

* In 2008 by a group of boys grabbed his backpack and glasses and kicked him in the groin.

* Several months later, three boys used a lighter to heat a spoon with white powder on it and put it in his mouth.

* On 3 July 2010 a group of juveniles sprayed him and then pushed his chair several blocks away into Riverfront Park. Once there, the group assaulted the boy in a park bathroom, unstrapped him from his chair and held his head under hot running water before leaving him.

How hard can it be to find the animals that did that? According to Wikipedia there are a total of 3,500 people in Havana living in 1,467 houses. It can not be a great mystery who did these disgusting acts. The mystery is why the city police or the at the minimum the state authorities are unable to put a stop to it and why they allow a disabled child to be repeatedly bullied?

The boy's stepmother Pauline Pierce has organized citizens to demonstrate against the fact that no charges were pursued and no punishments were handed out for the previous two crimes. Ms Pierce deserves credit for refusing to accept the apparent lack of interest by city and state officials in pursuing the matter.

Havana Police Chief Kevin Noble called it an "unfortunate, tragic incident". Someone should tell Police Chief Nobel that a car accident is an "unfortunate, tragic incident". This is a hate crime and what is unfortunate is that in a small town like Havana Illinois, hate crimes are allowed to go unpunished for so long.