I was outraged when I read the recent articles in the Peoria Journal Star and The State Journal-Register regarding the violent crimes being committed in Havana against a young man who has cerebral palsy. Cory Miller’s bravery in reporting these crimes and addressing a rally of supporters is in stark contrast to the cowardice of the thugs who have been perpetrating these ignorant and vile acts against him for the last two years.
Having worked in Havana in a number of capacities, my experience has been that the people of the community are hardworking, caring people with a great deal of civic pride. The support that the people of Havana have shown to Cory and his family is very much in keeping with what I believe to be the values of the community.
As the wife of a small-town mayor, I have no doubt that the authorities have a good idea who is responsible for the violence against Cory Miller. While I understand the need to fully investigate, I am deeply disappointed that after two years there has been no justice for him.
Mayor (Dale) Roberts, your citizens realize that if Cory Miller isn’t safe in Havana, neither are their children, their elderly parents, nor is anyone who is susceptible to bullying, violence or exploitation. I know that you don’t want these thugs to be preying on the people of your city.
Now is the time to put a stop to these hateful acts. I urge you, Mayor Roberts, to see that those who have repeatedly victimized Cory are held responsible for their actions. And I urge the people of Havana to continue to demand that their mayor and chief of police get these cowardly bullies off the streets of your city.
Ruth Burgess Thompson
Coalition of Citizens
with Disabilities in Illinois
I asked Ruth to tell us more about CCDI and what CCDI does. Ruth's response:
"Advocacy, advocacy and more advocacy! CCDI is dedicated to advocating for the rights of all people with all types of disabilities. Whether it be at the local, state or federal levels, CCDI strives to keep our members informed of the most current disability rights issues and the ways they can help advocate."
I also asked Ruth if she knows why so little has been done until now. Ruth says:
"I am the wife of a mayor of a city just about 30 miles from Havana, of a similar size (3,300) and I can assure you that in a town that size, the authorities have a very good idea who is responsible. Why haven’t the perpetrators been identified? I don’t know if the city doesn’t have the investigative resources, but if that is the case, they can certainly call on the State Police who do have vast resources. I don’t want to speculate about other reasons no action has been taken."
I applaud Ruth and her organization. I will be posting updates from Ruth and others who are helping to bring these bullies to justice.