"He slammed me down, and then he handcuffed me.”
That’s a quote from an 11-year-old black child with autism in a story by our Juvenile Justice and all-around ace reporter Susan Ferriss. In a period when we’ve all seen harrowing video of a black man being shot in the back multiple times by a police officer, Susan’s story is highly relevant. It has superb data behind it which establishes it as far more than a sad story about one boy badly treated by the system.
I am new to Public Integrity but I have seldom been more angered by a story of such profound injustice.
Read the story and look at the data and see the many young people, pre-teens, kids, who are being criminalized and in some cases incarcerated. The proportion that is black is way out of all statistical reason as in many cases is the cohort of those defined as “disabled”.
I challenge anyone to read it and not come away with a sense of shame, certainly I hope the governor of Virginia will.
Please take a look at the story and let me know what you think.
Ben Wieder collected and made sense of the data that shows the appalling case of the 11-year-old autistic boy Kayleb Moon-Robinson is not just another sob-story, even if it could ever be dismissed in that way. Chris Zubak-Skees set the data to music, as it were, making the toll on kids literally graphic. It is the sort of work Public Integrity leads on: social issues made personal but backed up with hard data. That’ll be why the story is doing well on partners like Time.com and PRI and has been on the Reveal podcast and radio show. Powered by @Publici.