Every Black person is different, but sometimes, in efforts to talk about the distinct oppression we face as a people, we erase the unique experiences some of us have. When it comes to police violence, this is certainly the case. Disabled Black people face this daily.
Racism and ableism (discrimination against disabled people) are connected. The police see a Black person, but if they’re deaf, blind, or suffering from a mental health issue, this can quickly escalate into a deadly confrontation. We’ve seen what can happen many times.
When police are called because of mental health crises, they often resort to violence because they are not mental health professionals. The same can be said for a deaf man like Eric Smith, who police killed although he couldn’t hear their commands.