New Kentucky Law Allows Deaf Motorists to Notify Police They Are Deaf, Terror Attacks in Sweden and Egypt, Deaf Man Violently Arrested in Protests Against Syrian Bombing, and 10th Annual Berg/Seeger Classic.
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Monday, April 10. Ready for news?
Two weeks ago, a new law in Kentucky was signed that would allow deaf people to voluntarily show that they are deaf in the vehicle registration system — so if police pull them over or look them up, they’ll see a clear alert on the system database (probably on the police laptop) that they are deaf.
To be clear, it is an electronic record on the system’s database — it is not a “deaf sticker” on a license plate or a “Deaf status” printed on the drivers license. The “deaf designation” appears to be confidential and only available to be seen by police or KY officials.
A key person to push this bill through legislation is a Deaf man, Robert D’Angelo. He worked closely with the KY Sec. of State Allison Lundergan to develop the bill. The KY Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing was also involved with the lobbying effort.
I reached out to Robert for comment — I asked him why this bill was important. He said often when police encounter a Deaf motorist, they don’t know that the motorist is deaf and confusion could happen. With the new law, police can know the driver is deaf and will be prepared and anticipate the communication needs of the motorist.
He said the process to pass this bill is lengthy and that it takes time and patience, but that it is a movement in the right direction for many Deaf/HoH in the commonwealth of KY. He encourages other Deaf people to become politically active and interact with representatives, Senators, write letters to them and make them aware of issues that are important to them and the Deaf community.
Congratulations to everybody to pushed this law — which will help Deaf people be prepared when interacting with police.
Kentucky.gov Summary: http://kentucky.gov/Pages/Activity-stream.aspx?n=SOS&prId=114
SB 189 Bill: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/recorddocuments/bill/17RS/SB189/orig_bill.pdf
Pictures Credited to Robert D’Angelo (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/robert.dangelo.982
There were two terrorist attacks last weekend — one in Sweden and one in Egypt.
In Stockholm, Sweden — on Friday afternoon a man stole a beer truck and drove it into people who were shopping at an “outdoor mall” area, crashing it into a store, then the truck burned. Four people died and at least 15 others were injured. I saw a video that showed people running into a store from outside — one person barely got into before the truck flew by on the street.
The suspected driver was arrested Saturday morning — his name is Rakhmat Akilov, 39, from Uzbekistan. It seems like he acted alone. There was some kind of a bomb or flammable divide inside the truck that caused the fire — but fortunately the bomb did not detonate properly.
Akilov applied for asylum in Sweden in 2014 but was rejected last December and informed that he had 4 weeks to leave the country. He did have a job but seems like he was fired because he slept on the job. Others said he was a quiet and reserved person, but that he partied and drank alcohol and did not appear to be a religious person. His Facebook posts show that he has links to other extremists/radicals and have linked ISIS videos on his wall.
Terrible. There is a memorial with flowers to honor the victims. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden gave a speech saying the country was shaken up but said they would survive and that Sweden will continue to be a peaceful country.
Yesterday in Cairo, Egypt — ISIS suicide bombers detonated outside two Christian churches, killing at least 44 people and injuring over 100. Yesterday was “Palm Sunday” — which attracts large crowds of Christians as they honor the “last week” of Jesus’ life.
The first explosion was at 9:30 am — killing 27 people. The bomber apparently got inside and detonated. The second explosion was during the afternoon at another church — the bomber tried to get inside, but was turned away by police — and detonated. That one killed 17 people, including three officers who stopped him.
Terrible. The Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah Sisi, said it was treacherous terrorism but that it would never affect Egyptians and their determination to oppose the forces of evil. He declared a three-month state of emergency in the country.
In Jacksonville, Florida — on Friday night — a Deaf man who was with a group of people protesting against military airstrikes in Syria was arrested and held down by at least four police officers, beaten, taken to the hospital, then to jail, where he was charged with two felonies: inciting a riot and resisting an officer with violence.
His name is Connell Crooms and he was arrested along with several other protesters after they got into a confrontation with a man carrying a big TRUMP flag — he is identified as “Gary Snow.” He is someone who is a “counter-protester” and a pro-Trump activist — he regularly goes to protests to confront them.
The officers are from the Jacksonville Sheriffs Office (JSO). The location is Hemming Park.
There are multiple cell phone video footage of the incident — I will show you what happened from multiple camera angles.
You will see Connell speaking in the video. Connell uses a hearing aid, can speak, and uses his voice throughout — there is no ASL in the video.
I asked an interpreter to help me understand what Connell was shouting in the megaphone. They were chanting “U.S. out of the middle east, no justice, no peace.” The interpreter also said Connell said “black people knows what it feels like to be targeted, we know how it feels — they bombed Syria, what sense does it make?”
The JSO said on their Facebook post that Connell “changed the dynamic” of the crowd when he took the megaphone and said “F*** the police.” The JSO called Connell a “violent aggressor.”
It is unclear what sparked the confrontation — but apparently a protester took Gary Snow’s megaphone, so Gary responded by taking it back — and that’s when Connell put himself in between Gary and the other protester. You can see Gary pushing Connell away with his forearm.
Then something happens on the other side of the “stage” and both Gary and Connell run towards it. That’s when a JSO officer runs in to step in between the two. As the officer tried to escort Connell away, he turned around and pointed at Gary, shouting something. Gary gave him the middle finger, only inches away from his face.
In front of the officer, Connell swats his arm aside and charges towards Gary — it didn’t appear to me that he wanted to fight him — but to jaw at him. The JSO officer was looking at Connell and reacted to his charge by arresting him.
That’s when the chain reaction started — as JSO officers took down Connell, a protester responded by pulling back at an officer — so that protester was taken down, then the same thing happened with several another protesters. It was chaos with six people arrested at the end.
Others tried to tell that Connell was deaf. One officer hit Connell with his fist at least five times and placed a taser on his back, but I’m not sure if he fired it. Gary Snow was filming the arrest while police were on top of Connell. Connell was dragged to a police car, then transported to an ambulance, then to the jail, and released on bail.
Gary Snow was not arrested or charged. Apparently police asked him to sit on a police car after the arrests. He later told media that he went to the protest because he thought it insane of them to protest Trump’s order to bomb the Syrian airfield. He said when he was there, people tried to take away his things, and that Connell attacked him and a police officer.
The next day, on Saturday, there was a rally outside of a courthouse by people who protested against JSO’s arrests. Connell’s mother, Feliciaia, spoke out about how his son was arrested. He said he had not talked with his son and found out about it on the news. She said she was blocked from seeing him at the police station and at the hospital and was disappointed that people who are supposed to “protect and serve” bullied and beat his child.
People in the crowds shouted, “Drop the Charges!” They’ve called the group of protesters the “Hemming Park Five.” People want an independent investigation of why the JSO didn’t arrest Gary Snow.
A GoFundMe account was set up for Connell and it raised almost $6,000 of its $5,000 goal.
Connell is already known in the city of Jacksonville. He has been involved with activist organizations and regularly attends and is a part of protests. His likeness was painted in a giant mural last year on a concrete tower at the shipyard.
Connell was a student at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind and briefly attended Gallaudet University.
It appears that Connell and the Hemming Park 5 are working with lawyers to fight the charges, and it is possible there will be a lawsuit, but I have no confirmation of that. I have reached out to people invovled and hope to provide more information and updates on this.
*Please see bottom of transcript for links
Last Saturday was the 10th Annual Berg/Seeger Classic, a track and field competition for deaf students that had 17 schools and over 225 athletes converging to the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin, TX. I visited during the afternoon and enjoyed myself watching some of the matches. Here is some footage and comments from two people who helped to organize the event.
Nice, thanks for sharing, Chris and Thomas. According to SportsMx.com, the Maryland School for the Deaf won the boys team competition, the second place finish goes to Texas School for the Deaf. For the girls, the Texas School for the Deaf won, second place goes to Maryland School for the Deaf. Congratulations to the teams and to everybody who made this event a success.
SportsMX Article: http://sportsmx.com/youth/high-school-sports/track/6479-maryland-boys-texas-girls-win-first-ever-berg-seeger-championships
Meet Schedule/Competitors: http://www.tsdrangers.com/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=412066&type=d&pREC_ID=898706
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!
*Connell’s Mother Speaks Out: http://jacksonville.com/video/2017-04-08/watch-mother-deaf-protester-arrested-jso-speaks-out-claims-excessive-force
Articles about Arrest: http://jacksonville.com/news/public-safety/2017-04-08/6-arrested-1-hospitalized-after-jacksonville-protest-over-syria /// http://jacksonville.com/news/public-safety/2017-04-08/counter-protester-denies-inciting-crowd-jacksonville-protest-over /// http://folioweekly.com/stories/activists-cry-foul-after-protest-turns-violent,17297
JSO Facebook Post/Statement about Protest: https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleSheriffsOffice/posts/10154546500577896
Article/Video About Mural: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/community/the-man-in-the-mural-new-artwork-towers-150-feet-over-shipyards/357486786
Corby Video: https://www.facebook.com/cat.corby/videos/vb.100005696435914/628678367332039/?type=2&theater
Action News Video: https://www.facebook.com/ActionNewsJacksonville/videos/1520745767997904/?hc_ref=SEARCH
Mike Todd Video: https://www.facebook.com/mikeltod/videos/vb.516067922/10155520177352923/?type=2&theater
Alice Wonder Video: https://www.facebook.com/100012776254427/videos/vb.100012776254427/290134801422393/?type=2&theater