Sins Invalid Statement on Police Violence
Sins Invalid is a performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized.
On September 4, 2014, they released a statement on police violence related to recent events in Ferguson and the Urban Shield program in Oakland, CA. Here are a few excerpts of their statement:
As an organization led by disabled people of color and queer / gender non-conforming people with disabilities, we live with high rates of state violence, from forced institutionalization, to ongoing police brutality and the murder of Black and brown disabled people.
We witness the horror of a deadly chokehold placed on Eric Garner, a Black man with multiple disabilities, by the NYPD. We hear the cries of Ezell Ford’s mother when she realized that her son with mental health disability was shot by LAPD while walking home. We stand with Lashonn White, a Deaf queer Black woman who was running toward police for safety, and instead tased by police and jailed for three days without access to an interpreter. We feel rage with the family of Kajieme Powell, a Black man with a mental health impairment, who was shot by St. Louis police within seconds of their arrival, for stealing two sodas and a package of pastries.
We know that modern day police forces are direct descendants of the “slave patrols” employed to police and control the bodies and labor of enslaved African people and violently repress their resistance to slavery. We recognize that Black and brown people with disabilities are pipelined from “special education” to incarceration of one form or another.
We acknowledge that disabled people who are Autistic, who are Deaf, who live with mental health impairments, or cognitive impairments, epilepsy or movement disorders, are at highest risk of being assaulted by police, and that this is deeply compounded when we are further marginalized by homelessness, transphobia, and white supremacy.
We do not see training as a viable solution, since it leaves intact the fundamental belief of the police that their purpose is to “control the situation.” As people with disabilities, our bodies and minds are not controllable and cannot always comply — this must be understood. Our bodies and minds are not criminal. We are unique and we celebrate our complexities.
For the entire statement, go to:
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