Chicago Police Officer Van Dyke Found Guilty in Shooting Death of LaQuan McDonald; Kavanaugh Confirmation is Likely; Deaf Convicted Murderer Displaced by Hurricane Florence Charged With Raping Deaf Woman; Melania Trump Meets With Deaf Child During Ghana Trip; NAD Announces Victory In Federal Court Ruling On Ability to Sue Under ADA For Website Accessibility; Woman Arrested for Allowing 10-Year-Old Son To Get Tattooed; Lyft Driver Pretended To Be Deaf, Twitter Responds; Guest #DeafBing: Overnight Fan & Repeating
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Friday, October 5. Ready for news?
Chicago Police Officer Van Dyke Found Guilty in Shooting Death of LaQuan McDonald
Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty by a jury of second-degree murder in the shooting death of teenager Laquan McDonald.
This happened in October 2014. Van Dyke got reports that someone was breaking in vehicles in a trucking yard, that Laquan had a 3-inch knife and popped the tires of a police cruiser.
A dash cam video shows Van Dyke driving a police cruiser, stopping it as Laquan is walking on a street, moving away.
Van Dyke gets out and immediately fires his gun at Laquan 16 times, continuing even after he was already down. He was 17 years old.
Van Dyke said during the trial that he thought Laquan would attack him.
But prosecutors said Van Dyke already decided he would shoot him and did not care about his life.
A jury of 8 women and 4 men, 7 white, 1 Black, 3 Hispanic, and 1 Asian started deliberations yesterday afternoon and found him guilty today of murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery.
Van Dyke was put in handcuffs and will face a minimum of 6 years in prison, with more years possible.
There were some people who celebrated outside of the courthouse.
Kavanaugh Confirmation is Likely
It seems likely that the Senate will have their final vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh tomorrow and it is more likely that he will be confirmed, because three key swing senators said they would vote for him after reading the 46-page FBI investigative report.
Senators Flake (R-Ariz), Collins (R-Maine), and Manchin (D-WV) said they would support him.
The fourth swing senator, Murkowski (R- Alaska) said she would not support Kavanaugh because he is not the right man for the court at the time.
The three voices of support means Republicans will more likely surpass the 51 vote threshold to confirm Kavanaugh.
Today there were many protesters who tried to pressure Senators against Kavanaugh, but it seems like it’s moving forward.
President Trump tweeted that the protesters were fake, that they were paid professionals with signs that were paid by billionaire activist Soros.
It is likely we will see Kavanaugh in a black robe, sitting in the highest court of our country.
But the national debate on whether he is innocent or guilty or sexual assault is expected to continue and affect the midterm elections.
Deaf Convicted Murderer Displaced by Hurricane Florence Charged With Raping Deaf Woman
In North Carolina, a Deaf woman was allegedly raped by Freeman Scott Ireland, a convicted murderer who was recently released from prison in May.
Several people sent me messages saying Freeman (37) is also Deaf.
On Monday night at 11 p.m. the victim called police. She said she was raped while she was sleeping, by a man she knew.
Freeman was still inside the home when police arrived. The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment, and Freeman was charged with second-degree forcible rape.
Michael Watson lives downstairs from the victim. He said the Deaf woman and Freeman were friends. Another neighbor said they seemed to be a couple.
Police said Freeman’s home was damaged during Hurricane Florence, so he was looking to find a new place to live. The woman allowed him to stay at her apartment home for a few days.
Since May, after Freeman was released from prison, he had been on supervised release. He spent 20 years in jail for murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon. He was 16 when he broke into a home and beat a 61 year old man to death.
A woman sent me a message saying she used to work at a deaf school where he was a student. She said, “It is so shameful and sad he blew his chance at living well in society, and is now put back in the prison.”
Freeman is now being kept at the Moore Detention Center. His bail has been set at $500,000, he is scheduled to face a judge Tuesday next week.
Melania Trump Meets With Deaf Child During Ghana Trip
First Lady Melania Trump visited four African countries this week on a solo trip. She went to Ghana and Malawi, and will visit Kenya and Egypt.
It is reported that Melania met with a deaf child and a blind child at Emintsimadze Palace in Ghana on Wednesday.
That place is where visitors traditionally attend to meet with a regional king to ask for permission to visit a historical slave castle.
A White House reporter for Bloomberg News, Jennifer Jacobs, tweeted a picture of both kids, saying it might be the first time a disabled person has ever been allowed in the palace, because it was taboo to allow disabled people to go inside.
The reporter said the king felt it was wrong, so he went to a deaf school to invite kids to visit Melania’s event.
Melania’s twitter account showed a picture of her with the king and holding her arm around a deaf girl, with a blind boy next to her.
Nice to see that. That building is named “Obama Hall” in honor of former President Obama, who visited in 2009 with his family.
Later at the castle, Melania put down a wreath and vowed to never forget the history of the place, where Africans were once held before being shipped away across the Atlantic Ocean.
NAD Announces Victory In Federal Court Ruling On Ability to Sue Under ADA For Website Accessibility
A federal appeals court ruled that deaf people, if they feel they are denied access on a website, if they feel discriminated against, can directly sue the website’s organization under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act. They do not have to first file a complaint with the FCC.
The National Association of the Deaf and two other law firms represented a deaf man from Florida, Eddie Sierra, who sued the city of Hallandale Beach for refusing to caption several videos on their city website.
The NAD announced this on Wednesday in a press release. They explained that Sierra wanted to view some videos of historical city commission meetings on their website but saw there were no captions. He asked the city to caption them, but they refused to.
So Sierra sued Hallandale Beach in a federal district court in Miami saying they violated his ADA rights.
The city wanted the lawsuit dismissed, saying Sierra had to first file a complaint with the FCC because the captioning issue is not an ADA issue, but under a different act — the CVAA Communications and Video Accessibility Act.
The district court sided with the city. So Sierra appealed the case to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. This is the “second layer” of federal courts, under the U.S. Supreme Court but above the district court.
Sierra argued that the CVAA did not require him to first file a complaint with the FCC, that he could sue under the ADA.
The appeals court in Atlanta agreed with Sierra and sent the case back to the lower district court in Miami.
This means Sierra can move forward with the ADA lawsuit without first filing a FCC complaint.
Now, a little background information: the CVAA was passed in 2010 and covers several different categories of accessibility laws for disabled people.
One of CVAA’s requirements for captioning on online videos is that if a video has been aired on television, then it must have captions it it is posted on the internet. If you have complaints about this, you can file them with the FCC, who can take it up and levy fines.
The CVAA doesn’t prevent people from filing a complaint/lawsuit under the ADA or Rehabilitation Act. It doesn’t say that people have to go through the FCC. This is what Sierra did, suing under the ADA, which led to all of this, and now he can proceed separately from the CVAA.
The NAD CEO Howard Rosenblum said this court decision is important because it prevented a dangerous precedent that could have spread throughout the federal courts in the U.S.
It could have set a precedent that deaf people must first file a complaint with the FCC before the ADA, but this was blocked, so he can go forward with the ADA.
In separate but related news, the Department of Justice said in a letter last week that the ADA applies to websites of public accommodations -- businesses or organizations, but that the businesses or organizations have flexibility in how they make their website accessible.
Woman Arrested for Allowing 10-Year-Old Son To Get Tattooed
In Ohio, Nikki Dickinson (34) -- several people told me that she is deaf -- was arrested for child endangerment after allowing her 10-year-old son to get a tattoo in allegedly unsafe conditions.
Nikki filmed her 10-year old child getting a tattoo at home, in a living room and posted it on Facebook last week.
See the picture? To clarify, the woman holding the boy is not Nikki, it is someone else. The mother Nikki filmed and posted it.
The video went viral with many people becoming upset. Several reported it to local police.
The person doing the tattooing was a 16 year old teenager named Kyle.
A witness said Kyle frequently gave tattoos at homes.
Officers said he has a reputation for using dirty needles and once gave someone MRSA infection.
Kyle was charged with two counts of unsafe tattooing.
Officers said Nikki told them that she got tired of her son asking, so she allowed him to get the tattoo. The tattoo is an S, the initial of the boy’s first name.
Nikki faces up to six months in jail if convicted of child endangerment. The other woman who held the boy has not been charged.
Lyft Driver Pretended To Be Deaf, Twitter Responds
A Lyft driver pretended to be deaf while he was actually hearing. A passenger, Nicholas, texted him to say thank you for picking him up but was stunned when the driver turned around and spoke with voice, “No problem, I just say I’m deaf so people don’t talk to me.”
It seems like the hearing driver used a special feature in Lyft’s app for deaf drivers. The app will notify riders that the driver is deaf.
The passenger Nicholas, who is from San Marcos, Texas, tweeted about the experience. He said he wasn’t sure whether to be impressed or shocked. The tweet became viral, and many people had different responses.
@Nicholas_ted33: “I got a notification saying my Lyft Driver was deaf and to text him anything I needed to say. So I texted him saying thank you for picking me up. This man turned around to me and said “No problem bro. You can talk to me. I just say that Im deaf so my passengers don’t talk to me”
A few people were actually surprised that deaf people were allowed to drive. See this.
@PetrieTaughtMe: “Wait let’s back up. Forgive my ignorance if I’m crazy here but deaf people are allowed to drive? Also why would Lyft encourage you to text your driver while they’re driving?”
A tweet, who got the most likes by people who agreed with him, expressed frustration that the driver was taking advantage of a system that was developed to help deaf people. See the tweet.
@SavoryScrimp: “I had an actually deaf driver and he was so nice and thankful of me working with him and talking to him slower so he could read me. This is frustrating that this jerk is taking advantage of a system that helps people who have a hard time finding good work.”
Nicholas responded to the tweet that the driver told him that he struggled with bad anxiety and has a hard time talking to new people.
@Nicholas_ted33: “If it makes any difference at all, he told me that he struggles with anxiety really bad and it makes it hard for him to talk to new people. I kinda felt bad for the dude. He seemed suuuuuuuper introverted.”
Another person, Topher, who is deaf, quickly responded that even if the driver had anxiety, it wasn’t okay for him to pretend to be deaf just for his convenience. See his tweet.
@tophergonzalez: “Even if he has anxiety, it doesn’t mean it’s okay for him to pretend to be deaf. Either way, he IS commodifying my disability for his pathetic convenience so honestly, swerve.”
Another person, AShettle, also deaf, responded to this thread and said that people with disabilities already have to deal with strangers who think we are faking the disability to take advantage of the system.
@AShettle: “All this by @SavoryScrimp, AND Some of us ppl w/ disabilities already have to deal with random strangers who are convinced we are faking disabilities to somehow “game” the system and treat us with extreme hostility for it. When ppl fake disabilities it adds fuel to that fire”
So that was a good, hot discussion with various perceptions. What do you think?
Guest #DeafBing: Overnight Fan & Repeating
Ready for two Guest Deaf Bing?
Here is the first from Nikole.
Nikole: Deaf Bing: the microwave has a fan under it to suck in the air when cooking, right? I always forget to turn it off when I’m finished cooking. I can’t hear, that. The next day, I turn off the fan.
Alex: Yes, we all understand. I feel sorry for our hearing pets, they have to listen to the fan overnight.
The next Deaf Bing is from Scotty.
Scotty: Deaf Bing: repeat and repeat. I’m going to the store. The store. You know, my friend Paul? Paul? I’m going to work now, I’ll be back home at 6:00. 6:00.
Alex: That’s right, Scotty. That’s right. That’s right. That’s right. That’s right.
That is all for this week. Have a wonderful weekend and stay with the light!