How to Stop First Responders from Killing US? A Community Forum on Stephon’s Law

[This text was originally published in AREA Chicago #15 in December 2015]

In January 2015, Access Living hosted a community forum with Danelene Powell-Watts, mother of Stephon Watts, a disabled 15-year-old Black child who was killed by police officers in his home. The print issue of AREA #15 contains an a transcript of a portion of this forum. Here we include a full, unedited recording of the forum in its entirety. Our gratitude to the facilitators, panelists and participants in the forum.

“What about in a situation where we are in community with each other and something breaks out and the police shows up? With us, within that situation, all of us, and they wanted to figure out how to calm the situation down? What if I had a disability where calm just didn’t work for me? Like I would be moving around, and doing all type of things, and to them that poses a harm, but for me, that’s just my natural reaction? If they didn’t know, how would they respond? [Audience: Badly]. Badly, like what? They would treat me like I was bad? [Audience: With violence] ”

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