On Sunday, March 1, 2015, the Bay Area disability community gathered at the Ed Roberts Campus to remember and mourn the deaths of disabled people at the hands of their parents, caregivers or care providers or by law enforcement and other authorities.
This event, the Day of Mourning, is in its fifth year with similar local events taking place in cities across the US and internationally.
For more information about the Bay Area Day of Mourning including the program, action steps and complete list of names recited, go here:
Below is the full-text of the speech by a speaker at the event, La Mesha Irizarry.
mesha Irizarry, administrator of Idriss Stelley Foundation, that provides fee, direct services to grieving friend and families of Loved Ones killed by law enforcement, and survivors of police misconduct. My only biological child, 23 yr Black student Idriss Stelley, bipolar, was shot 48 times by 9 SFPD “Peace officers” inside the Metreon Theater Complex on June 12, 2013. The intersection of disability and race compounds the lethality of police mental health intervention : Idriss was killed one month after the implementation of the first SFPD mental health training. While Idriss should have been transported for evaluation at SFGH, all they saw was an agitated, 220 pd black suspect and they shot him like a rabied animal. Ever since Idriss was killed, in spite of repeated police mental health trainings, the killing of mentally challenged people in SF has exponentially increased. No amount of training can change the organizational culture, and calling the police to do a mental health intervention amounts to calling a mortician to deliver a baby. Rest in Power…. Idriss Stelley….Richard Tims… Jahid Akbar…. Craig Holden…. Asa Sullivan….Charles Hill… Pralith Pralourng… Matt Hoffman… Anita Gay (Berkeley)… Errol Chan (San Jose) … Yania Serrano Garcia (Half Moon Bay)…. Mental Health intervention should be done by Psych Techs and community megotiators, SFPD mental health training should be defunded and re-allocated to pu blic heath and the mobile assistance patrol, with police only as back up to be used at last resort. Mental Helth workers face dangerous patients every day, but they never kill or disable anyone, different organizational culture !
La Mesha Irizarry, Director of Idriss Stelley Foundation
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