Boston, MA – The Ruderman Family Foundation, a national leader in disability inclusion, again reiterates its call for police officers to receive better training when interacting with people with disabilities, after Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old man with disabilities, was fatally shot by police on Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“According to the lawyer for the family of Keith Lamont Scott, Mr. Scott had a disability,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “A recent study by the Ruderman Family Foundation found that half of people killed by police have a disability and that disability played a role in the incidents which led to these fatalities.”
In a statement from Justin Bamberg, an attorney for the family of Keith Lamont Scott on Thursday night, it was revealed that Scott had a disability following a near-death motorcycle crash last year. According to his mother, Vernita Scott Walker this had caused him “to stutter his words and sometimes he couldn’t remember what he said.”
Unsettling just-released footage showing the moments leading up to the fatal shooting taken by Scott’s wife, also show miss Scott stating, “He has a T.B.I.” – an abbreviation for the traumatic brain injury. “He’s not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine.”
“What is clear is that police across the United States need better training in interacting with people with disabilities in the course of their daily policing duties in order to reduce incidents of police killings,” Ruderman added.
The Ruderman White Paper on Media Coverage of Law Enforcement Use of Force and Disability released last March found that half of all recent high profile police-related killings in the United States are people with disabilities. Despite this being the second fatal police incident in Charlotte, North Carolina in less than a month involving a person with disabilities, this unfortunate growing trend continues to be widely overlooked.