How People with Disabilities, Especially Those of Color, are Harmed by Over-Policing

Posted on

November 12, 2020

Edie Surtees, Communications Director

 AUSTIN—As our nation continues to mourn the death of Texas-native George Floyd and others who have lost their lives before and after him due to excessive police force, Disability Rights Texas (DRTx) spent the past several months exploring the issues behind this ongoing problem. In its newly released report, “The Overuse of Police and Its Impact on People with Disabilities in Texas,” the agency explains the issue in detail and provides recommendations for consideration.

The report shows how people with disabilities, particularly people who are black or brown, suffer physical and psychological harm from over use of police in behavioral health emergencies. One of the reasons cited in the report for this increase in police interaction that harms people with disabilities is a lack of community health supports. Other issues explored include:

  • The overuse of police in Texas schools
  • The lack of police training on the variety of disability behaviors and accommodations needed for each
  • The overuse of police to handle mental health crises
  • The lack of non-justice system referral options
  • Alternatives to using uniformed police as mental health first responders

Read the full report attached below or by clicking here.

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Disability Rights Texas (previously named Advocacy Inc.) is the federally designated legal protection and advocacy agency (P&A) for people with disabilities in Texas established in 1977. Its mission is to help people with disabilities understand and exercise their rights under the law, ensuring their full and equal participation in society. Visit www.DRTx.org for more information.

Attached documents