Disability oppression: Disabled African University of Florida graduate student shot by university police

via Gainesville.com.  I’m very disturbed by this case, but not for the same reason as University Diaries, who  includes this with other cases of “delusional” students.  Here are the facts of the case that UD reports:

“Police first met with [Kofi] Adu-Brempong [an international student from Ghana] on Monday to check on him after a report of possible emotional problems. Geography professor Peter Waylen had contacted police to say Adu-Brempong had sent an e-mail with troubling statements, which were redacted in the police report. Waylen told police Adu-Brempong had been having delusional thoughts for at least a year and that he previously had received help from a UF counselor because he believed the U.S. government was not going to renew his student visa, the report stated. … Waylen and an officer spoke Monday with Adu-Brempong at his apartment. “I asked Adu-Brempong if he had any concerns that I could help with. Adu-Brempong advised that he was fine and did not need anyone’s help,” Officer Gene Rogers wrote in the report. “I advised him that Waylen and I were concerned for his safety and were there to assist him any way we could.” The report states Adu-Brempong refused help from a counselor and stated several times that he was fine.”

My first reaction was — why is it “delusional” for an international student to fear that he would lose his student visa?  Seems like a pretty reasonable fear to me.

Other facts not included in UD’s excerpt:  the student is 5′ 8″, 150 pounds, and because of a childhood bought with polio, needs a cane to walk.   According to the local papers, the student had called 911 because he didn’t believe that the men outside his door were really police officers (keep in mind that in some foreign countries distrust of police is justified).

In other words, it appears that the U of Florida campus police used deadly force against an African man who, in addition to being in a disturbed mental state, was no physical match for five police officers.

I agree with this op-ed from the Independent Florida Alligator.  This is  a clear case of disability oppression, and a racist one at that.

Update:  The student’s brother, Dr. Kwame Obeng, contends that this is a case of police brutality.  Students at UF held a protest rally on Friday.

1 thought on “Disability oppression: Disabled African University of Florida graduate student shot by university police

  1. Pingback: Update on Kofi Adu-Brempong case « Knitting Clio

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