Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) President Renee Sites issued a statement yesterday. I do not know when, but here’s the statement in relation to a killing of an unharmed Deaf man (picture attached above) in Oklahoma City the other night. What do you think of this statement?
“The Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) steps forward in recognition that education is needed in our home state and across the nation between deaf and emergency responders. We are sad, but not surprised by this most recent act. Lack of education plays a vital part in many communities. It is our hope to join with police departments in Oklahoma, to provide better advocacy and training to law enforcement personnel. We want to prevent this type of situation from happening in the future. We want the members of our community to be safe. We understand that police are often in difficult situations and might not remember that all individuals can respond to verbal commands.
There are many challenges between the deaf community and law enforcement. We would be willing to partner with agencies in Oklahoma to better serve our communities while breaking down barriers. OAD has discussed providing town halls in different cities in Oklahoma. This is not only for police, but all emergency responders. If you would like to set up a town hall with our deaf community, please feel free to reach out. We are here to advocate, educate and learn together. Oklahoma Association of the Deaf is here to build bridges between the two communities. We would like people to know they can reach out to us.”
“The mission of the Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) is to promote, protect and preserve the civil rights and quality of life of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Oklahoma.”
I am still numb about Deaf man’s death in Oklahoma City. He was unharmed–no weapon (gun or knive)– he was shot to death by police because he was Deaf. Where is the intelligent capabilities in police academy?
I am having difficult time trying to understand how they went ahead and kill him with a weapon on his own property and literally outnumbered by police officers. Today, the requirements of becoming a police officer is not required an university degree.
As becoming a police officer in Oklahoma, the requirements would be: being administered a psychological evaluation and been evaluated by a psychologist licensed by the state. How will the police officer deal with psychological evaluation when it comes to dealing with Deaf people? The fact that the deceased is Deaf–passing psychological assessments: it is also lack of sensitivity training about Deaf people. Of course, a high school diploma or a GED is not making things safer. I strongly believe in higher education and awareness. It is a HUGE. HUGE. HUGE difference.
The most important question, Where is the ACTION by Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) to speak out on his behalf? OAD should immediately stand up for Deaf community right away. OAD should confront the problem in this urgent hour should be clear message. Will the killings of Deaf people continue to be ignored? Will killings once more become an official government weapon against Deaf people without constitutional rights?
Honor Madgiel Sanchez.
Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier
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