Podcast - Black Disabled Bodies & Police Part 3

PNNscholar1 - Posted on 20 December 2019

Leroy Moore

Listen to it at https://soundcloud.com/user-147187058/black-disabled-bodies-police-part-3



Hello peeps yes it’s been a long time since my last part dealing with lynching & Black disabled bodies sorry about that.  For the last year and half I’ve been deep into my upcoming book, Black Disabled Ancestors that will coming out in Feb 2020 under Por Press of Poor Magazine.  For almost three years, I’ve been visited by Black disabled ancestors in my sleep who some were abused by police for example the story entitled:  Eleanor Bumpurs  and Korryn  Gaines Comes Back Talk About Black & Blue Left On Their Black Disabled Bodies By The Police. This episode is going to be different from the last two Slavery and Lynching that have historical facts and stories.  In Black Disabled Bodies & Police Part 3 will be more based on recent work around police brutality against people with disabilities and activism by people with disabilities & who are Deaf.


I  was excited to see the tv series, Underground, an American television period drama series created by Misha Green and Joe Pokaski about the Underground Railroad in Antebellum Georgia. The show debuted March 9, 2016, on WGN America. On April 25, 2016, WGN renewed the show for a 10-episode second season, that premiered on March 8, 2017.   From my viewpoint Underground for me was one of the first maistream televison series that really dealt with Harriet Tubman’s voilent attack on her that cause her brian inury that played a major role in her work in the Underground Railroad.  A lot of Black scholars go back to slave catchers as the first formation of police.  From then to today there are no collected data on police brutality/kiling of Black disabled bodies or any disabled bodies.


I’ve beeen an activist against police bruutality since the late 1980’s and I remember the Eleanor Bumpurs’ case in New York and even writing a letter to the editor of Amsterdam News, a Black Newspapwer in NY..  And I remember the roll out of what would become popular in the 1990’s and early 2000’s and even still today and that was police crissis training.  


In this episode of Black Disabled Bodies we look at police brutality on Black disabled bodies through not only my experiences but other Black/Brown disabled activists, movements, some cases and Krip-Hop Nation’s cultural work around this issues.  I just want to say since the late 1980’s more and more disabled activists/artists have made their voice heard aound the issue of police brurtality and people with disabilities from Poor Magazine to Idriss Staneley Foundation to the Harriet Tubman Collective to Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of Deaf Communities - HEARD to Sunjay Lloyd Tojuhwa Smith to Dustin Gibson to Lydia X. Z. Brown & so many more.  As I said in the last two  episodes, what you will  hear and read is from my experience, research, writings, activism and cultural work and I know there is a lot out there that I’m not covering here.


When I was a teenager I didn’t accept an offer to be apart of a disability activist group in NY & CT back in  the early 1980’s because they were solely working on getting curb cuts and I was beginning to see Black disabled young men being shot and beaten up by police.  I still remember what I told them at the time, I said, “I can’t join you for curb cuts when my Black disabled brothers can’t even come outside because they are being shot/beaten up by police!” and this was before computers so no hastag activism.   That was my early break from  the forming of disability rights movement at that time.  


Police brutality against people with disabilities has been with me since the 1980’s from CT to NY to MI to CA.  When Grary N Gray and I started Disability Advocates of Minorities Orgaanization in 1998 we held what we called  at that time Senseless Crimes Open Forum on crimes and brutality against people with disabilities on July14th/2001 in San Francisco with Poor Magazine & the mothers of Black disabled sons like Idriss Stelley and Cammerin Boyd who were killed by  SFPD.  I still remember interviewing a leading pollice brutality lawyer, John Burris, when he came to Poor  Magazine’ newsroom where I point blank asked him why when a disabled person get shot up by police there is very little reaction from community etc. and what he told me shocked me at that time.  He said, “the disability community is not loud enough!”  I was mad but it was and sadly still true today although the disability community have come a long was since that day in 2001.


From Mothers Against Police Brutaty to October 22nd to Cop Watch to Black  Lives Matter      many movements and their spokespersons have reported that most of police brutality have happened on people who have mental health disabilities and a lot of reporting, studies and white papers have put out that 50% of all police brutality/shootings have been against people who have mental health disabilities but since the early 1990’s I’ve been saying that the number is a lot higher and includes more than mental health disabilities like people with autism, people who are Deaf,  who have a physical and developmental dability and people who are blind.  Also if you look at the boom of police in our schools you will see that students with disabilities and those who are in special education have a higher risk of being in hands of SRO’s School Resource Officers.  Yes since the late 1980’s most of these cases of police brutality not all are Black/Brown people with disabilities & who are Deaf.


Only recently newspapers like the Washington Post to foundations like the Ruderman Family Foundation have come out with articles, reports and studies on police brutality against people with disabilities and of course the cultural work of Krip-Hop Nation like the 2012 Krip-Hop Nation’s CD entitled Police Brutality Profiling Mixtape and the 2016 documentary with Emmitt Thrower entitled: Where Is Hope - The Art of Murder: Police Brutality Against People With Disabilities.  And today we even have a website on this issue by a Native American disabled activist, Sunjay Lloyd Tojuhwa Smith at http://www.cripjustice.org/..  We have the excellent work of  Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of Deaf Communities - HEARD who have put a spotlight on poolice bruutality against Deaf people like Pearl Pearson who was a Deaf, Black man who survived a brutal beating by Oklahoma Highway Patrol in 2014.  Although with all of this great work around police brutality against  people with disabilities and who are Deaf, many   movements have left people with disabilities behide and from my view point the disability mainstream organizations beyond writing statements and blogging haven’t take on this totpic like creating ongoing programs in communities.  What is even more surprising is the rise of survaliance dressed up as safty towards people with disabilities but to be honest mainly people with autism  and how this survaliance movement have been sweeping this nation locally  from   bracelets, i.d. and registry of people with disabilities.    The shocking ddthing of this movement is the lack of  voice against it and the high percentage of middle to upper class parents pushing it and think  that is one of the reason of a lack of push back.


I really think that the disability community or the ones who have institutional power have missed a timely boat call Black Lives Matter not saying many of us didn’t tried, yes we did and many   of us got burn and not only individuals but our Black/Brown disabled organizations from Sins Invalid to Harriet Tubman Collective.  But I must    point out that the chapter of BLM in Tronto have done some amazing work and even incorperated th princicples of Disability Justice that was created by Sins Invalid.  I don’t want to get to that missing opportunity but on a personal achievement and hurt was the creation of Where Is Hope - The Art of Murder Police Brutality Against People With Disabilities  Hip-Hop  CD & film documentary & Educational packets under Krip-Hop Nation.  Emitt Thrower who is a Black disabled retire NYPD officer/artist and I was overoyed and shocked at the same time when we finally put out this project & at the same time felt like we were rejected by many police brutality organizations and activist movements for suspport.


In 2017 I wrote an article entitled: Leroy's Suggestions on Police Brutality Against People with Disabilities Beyond Training…..  I like to end this with this article.


Yes I talk a lot about the problems so here are some of my suggestions toward police brutality against people with disabilities and who are Deaf.


SOME of My Suggestions:  So what can we do as a community more locally?


A. Switching the focuus from what police need to what the community needs.

B. Not saying that love ones shouldn’t sue. We have to realize that $$ is coming from us the taxpayers. Can you imagine if that $$$$$ came out of police’s pockets? If we can get intouched with families that lost a disabled/Deaf member by police brutality and offer our support and disability justice advice.

C. Team up with Malcolm x Grassroots Center, other Black orgs/Black disabled actiivists to do  reports, studies and papers on police brutality with Black/Brown disabled/Deaf people.

D. Continue to write about it especially in the Black media on Black twitter

E. Institutionally - recommend that our disability orgs take on the issue of police brutality against our youth and young adults by offering community forums, trainings, art/music programs on the topic of state violence, workshops on how not to call 911"..

F. Make inroads into NAACP about disability justice

G. Demand that anti-police brutality groups take a workshop on disability justice by @Sins Invalid, Patricia Berne,' Never Calling Police workshop by Poor Magazine, Lisa Tiny Gray-Garcia

H. Support local activists/orgs who are doing groundbreaking work in police brutality and disability/Deaf like the Idriss Stanley Foundation La Mesha Irizarry in SF, Center for Convivial Research and Autonomy, Annie Paradise and Advance Youth Leadership Power in Chicago, Candace Marie

I. Use tools that are already out there like Where Is Hope film documentary, Emmitt Thrower and more

J. As you have seen that I didn't mention policy and police reform because it is all about community control.

K. Get to know your neighbor and their families and talk about how they can be more aware of disability in everyday and in a crisis situation so you can call them not the police.

L. Demand these big federal grants that go to national disabled orgs have real community buy in.

M. Work with other who are collecting data on this issue to make sure disability, Deaf people are not only included but are apart of the researching team.

N.  Look internationally on police brutality and disability and what people with disabilities are doing.


We can demand more non-grant money, media and awareness to go to cultural projects like Krip-Hop Nation, Poor Magazine and Sins Invalid, etc. who have a record doing cultural work around police brutality against people with disabilities and many others. We can support the National Black Disability Coalition’s, Jane Dunhamn work around implementing Black Disability Studies at colleges and universities and their work in the community creating advocacy and cultural outlets to Black families and Black disabled people. As street activists in this fight against police brutality can start and continue to ask the following: are our rallies accessible, is the disabled community represented not only in your rallies but on the stage, on your media, in your talking points and are the politics of disability justice practice implemented in social justice left and their work before and during a movement?”



Once again thank you for listening to the 3rd episode of Black Disabled Bodies and in this eposide we talked about policing there are two episodes before this first on Slavery and the Black Disabled Body and Lynching on Black Disabled Body.  This is Leroy Moore & you can contact me at Blackkrip@gmail.com



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