Solitary Confinement Is A Despicable Way To Treat The Mentally Ill

Monday, December 8, 2014

Good evening:

Reginald ‘Neli’ Latson is a black 23-year-old autistic boy with Asperger’s and an IQ of 69. He is locked-up in solitary confinement in Virginia. His crime: Wearing a hoodie while black when he was 18-years-old and sitting on the grass outside a public library waiting for it to open.

From the Facebook page, Justice for Reginald Latson,

One day, he took a walk to the local library as he often did, but found it to be closed. He waited outside the library for it to open. Somebody at a school near the library called the police, saying that there was a suspicious person sitting near the library who he or she believed had a gun. The police ordered a lockdown on local schools and went searching for the supposed gunman.

Shortly afterwards, a “school resources officer” and sheriff deputy approached Neli, recognizing him as the person that the police were searching for. According to the police, Neli attacked the officer for no apparent reason. According to Neli and his family, however, he complied with a search, which resulted in no gun being found, was threatened and then tried to leave, but the deputy grabbed him from behind. A struggle ensued, during which the deputy used pepper spray on Neli. Neli himself eventually got his hands on the can of pepper spray and, depending on whose account one believes, either used it on the officer or fled from the scene. At some point during the fight or pursuit, the deputy suffered a broken ankle and a cut to the head.

Sound familiar? I suppose Neli is lucky to be alive. Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and many others too numerous to mention are dead.

Then again, maybe he isn’t so lucky. He is locked up 23 hours per day isolated in a cell with a hole in the floor for a toilet and no bed, television or radio. He is permitted one hour per day out of his cell to exercise in a somewhat larger cell.

Solitary confinement is torture. Why is the State of Virginia torturing him?

The distressing simple answer is: Solitary confinement is the only option available in jail because he is unsuitable for general population and is hostile to staff. His situation is not unusual because this is how our nation ‘treats’ the mentally ill. For example, the Los Angeles County Jail is our nation’s largest psychiatric facility.

Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post
explains what happened to Neli after he was convicted of assaulting the deputy and placed in a group home upon successfully completing a residential treatment program,

When Latson became agitated after a visit with his mother, staff unfamiliar with his routines called police. Latson asked the officer to shoot him and tried to grab his gun. Instead of treating this like the mental health crisis it was, Frederick County, where the episode took place, filed felony charges. Olsen [the white prosecutor] seized on the episode as a probation violation and moved to revoke Latson’s probation.

Transferred back to the Stafford County jail against the judge’s recommendation, Latson had another run-in with authorities. Taken off his anti-psychotic medications and suicidal, he hit an officer as he was being moved from solitary into a “crisis cell” with no bed and a hole in the floor for a toilet.

Neli’s lawyers want the judge to place him in a secure mental health treatment facility in Florida, a recommendation supported by Virginia mental health authorities who have secured federal funding to pay for his placement.

Unfortunately, the prosecutor has other plans. He is refusing to support the placement because he is determined to prosecute and convict Neli of assaulting the officer in jail. Marcus explains why,

Latson’s intellectual disability, Olsen has argued in court, is “an aspect of convenience. When his advocates want him to be retarded, he is.”

Olsen grudgingly acknowledges that Latson has been diagnosed with autism but contends that the 23-year-old’s problems in the criminal justice system do not arise from his disability. “He is a person with autism that also has this hate, this racial hate and this hate for law enforcement,” Olsen said.

That last quote tells me all I need to know. The prosecutor is a racist because only a racist would even think to accuse Neli of “racial hate.”

Of course the kid hates cops. Why wouldn’t he?

Olsen probably thinks of himself as a good Christian. He isn’t. But for Olsen, Neli would be safely receiving the treatment he needs for his mental illness instead of being housed in solitary confinement, untreated.

44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45″Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'”

Matthew 25:44-45

29 Responses to Solitary Confinement Is A Despicable Way To Treat The Mentally Ill

  1. MDX says:

    Uh oh….. racists heads are going to explode. For it appears that their myth about “the blacks” not having a swimming gene has gone down in flames.

    BREAKING: Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson made history becoming 1st black woman to win a world title 1:02:36

    • The US gold medal world record men’s 4 X 100 meter freestyle relay at Beijing Olympics had a black swimmer. Michael Phelps led off that relay.

      The only reason why we haven’t seen more black swimmers is lack of access to good facilities and good coaching.

      • MDX says:

        Absolutely true.

        Segregation or outright banning of African Americans from public pools is part of our sorry heritage.

        The pool, that I take my daughters for lessons is not that way. Instructors and students come in all shades and shapes. And guess what the name of the place is?

        The Martin Luther King Recreation Center.

        I tell you that the play ground over there is exactly what he dreamed.

  2. Malisha says:

    OK, way OT, but a friend just sent me this and I couldn’t help watching it all the way to the end in a paralysis of horror and stupefication:

    This woman was obviously committing child abuse in public. I hate to think about what her kids were mentally and emotionally processing while this occurred. Lord! OMG! And then she takes those kids into the store. OBVIOUSLY she was not afraid of the man she was cursing and threatening … RIGHT? Not scared he would come in and shoot her? Burn down the store perhaps?

    NOT SCARED AT ALL, stood there and cursed him in front of her kids, and threatened him with bodily harm and property destruction IN FRONT OF HER KIDS!

    • Disappointed says:

      Malisha I’m sure her attorney will say that’s not really how she feels she was just upset. Isn’t that what they normally say? I’m disgusted that racism is still alive and apparently psycho. I feel bad for her children. They learn what they live. They learn to hate they will live that way too. Sad.

  3. ed nelson says:

    It’s torture! Even low intelligence can see whats plain, I like to believe.

    But in the ”Good Christian” category… Here’s a question: A good Christian only has to be one, I was told a couple of times, once memorably at a church of Born Agains… ”All you need do to be ”saved”, is to accept Jesus, as your ”personal savior”.

    Well, let’s see here… Jesus did heroic things, said things that went against the powerful of his time, gave us a road map to follow his example. And then he was martyred and made into a ”graven image” for all time. So any simple Simon who thinks they can be ”saved” just by letting Jesus do the heavy lifting, is a complete Hippocrite, and opportunist liar, for not doing the good works, just my opinion.

    These kind of doofus self deluded self describe Christians, who only pay lip service to Christ, but go on to contribute massively to the suffering of this world… bolstered by their numbers in mutual adulation, and enabled by the general deterioration of human intellectual life, well, it goes to show how even the good is commandeered to evil.

    • So any simple Simon who thinks they can be ”saved” just by letting Jesus do the heavy lifting, is a complete Hippocrite, and opportunist liar, for not doing the good works, just my opinion.

      Amen to that, brother!

      The Christ of my understanding is the man of action who advocated for the poor and threw the money changers out of the temple.

      Good to see your fonts again.

      • Malisha says:

        Professor, I believe (as do some other Jews and many other Christians) in Jesus as a historical human being who live in a troubled time in a country that had been overrun by murderous exploitive control freaks (Romans) and who was an intellectual. This same Jesus is seen by many Christians in the Americas (including but not limited to North America) as a “liberation theology” figure; I have not studied it much. One thing, though, in the story of Jesus (of the formidable intellect) that goes often misunderstood is the incident (whatever it was, and I’m not sure what it was) involving the money-changers outside the Temple.

        Money-changers are thought of as per se greedy terrible profit-motivated rotters, by a history that doesn’t understand them. They were simply money-changers: clerks. The reason they were outside the Temple is that in the old days, there were Jews and non-Jews (according to the thinking of the then Jews) and the non-Jews were all pretty much the same, and their ways were all pretty much the same, and prior to the Jews setting themselves apart from the “others,” they were pretty much the same as the “others” as well. The Jews claimed God set them apart by making them his “chosen” but they lived among all those non-chosens.

        Prior to God’s edict against worshipping other gods (“Have no other god before me”), all peoples of the region would, when passing through the area belonging to someone else, go and sacrifice at THEIR temple or altar or whatever. It was like paying safe entry tax or travel taxes or whatever. But since the god of the Jews thereafter forbad that, they had to NOT make sacrifices to anybody else’s gods — or their own God would punish them.

        Other folks, however, would still pass through the Jews’ territory and there was normalcy to be observed EXCEPT that the Jewish Temple did not accept foreign sacrifices. But among the other common things that people did in each other’s territory, there was the currency exchange just as we have currency exchange booths in our airports. Remember, people were stopping in their land and would need money even if they weren’t being ushered into the Temple to pay, deposit, or burn offerings. So it would seem that the natural place for the “money-changers” to set up would be outside the Temple. They weren’t supposed to be INSIDE because non-Jews couldn’t go in and therefore surely couldn’t change their currency there!

        I don’t know whether some group of money-changers thought they’d catch more trade if they went INSIDE or if they did actually remain OUTSIDE but made some disrespectful signs or behaved wrongly or something. I have not carefully studied the passage in the Bible to try to figure out the motivations either of the particular money-changers or to figure out what “Yehoshua Ben Yosaaf” might have done or why, but I think the general custom and usage of the times suggests that the money-changers were neither per se evil nor were they grossly wrong by being near or adjacent to the Temple. It was where passing caravans would naturally stop.

        Anyway for what it’s worth…

        BTW it is my personal belief that Jesus should have been more elevated and celebrated, socially and academically (and even politically) than he was at the time, based on his scholarship. I believe he was discriminated against because of his condition of birth (mother NOT married to Joseph when he was conceived but engaged to him) which the Hebrew law at the time specifically mandated should NOT involve any civil disability or discrimination EXCEPT that he could not marry. (The law of Mumzerut) He should have BEEN on the Sanhedrin, not been discriminated AGAINST by the Sanhedrin. I see him as a martyr not to a religious cause but to the same cause that continues, world-wide and culture-wide, even and perhaps especially in “Christian” countries, to produce martyrs: PATRIARCHAL CLASS WARFARE. Nobody can deny that the Romans were the top specialists in that, in all Western History, to date. Soon to be overtaken by the Americans, simply by the weight of “inexorable geometric progression.”

        • MDX says:

          Fascism admired the Roman Empire. In fact, Mussolini, in his self-delusion thought he was creating a New Rome.

          And I see a lot of similarity between “El Duche” and Benito Gooliani :).

          And how come they always, when attacking us, bring up the Third Reich?

          I posit that is is because they have a sneaking admiration for those creeps. They sure seem to get red in the face when in response to calling us leftist or commies, I state:

          “say what you will, but those leftist-commies kicked fascist ass around the block for drill”

          Liberal wimps?

          Google George McGovern and compare his war record to John Wayne or Saint Ronald Reagan.

          Better yet, Google Leon Blum, the French Socialist.

          When the Germans occupied France in June 1940, Blum made no effort to leave the country, despite the extreme danger he was in as a Jew and a socialist leader; instead of fleeing the country, he escaped to southern France, but the French ordered his arrest. Blum was imprisoned in Fort du Portalet in the Pyrenees.[10]

          Blum was among the “The Vichy 80”, a minority of parliamentarians that refused to grant full powers to Marshal Philippe Pétain. He was arrested by the authorities in September and held until 1942, when he was put on trial in the Riom Trial on charges of treason, for having “weakened France’s defenses” by ordering her arsenal shipped to Spain, leaving France’s infantry unsupported by heavy artillery on the eastern front against Nazi Germany. He used the courtroom to make a brilliant indictment[citation needed] of the French military and pro-German politicians like Pierre Laval. The trial was such an embarrassment to the Vichy regime that the Germans ordered it called off. He was transferred to German custody and imprisoned in Germany until 1945.

          In April 1943, the occupying Government had Blum imprisoned in Buchenwald in the section reserved for high-ranking prisoners. His future wife, Jeanne Blum, chose to come to the camp voluntarily to live with him inside the camp. As the Allied armies approached Buchenwald, he was transferred to Dachau, near Munich, and in late April 1945, together with other notable inmates, to Tyrol. In the last weeks of the war the Nazi regime gave orders that he was to be executed[citation needed], but the local authorities decided not to obey them. Blum was rescued by Allied troops in May 1945. While in prison he wrote his best-known work, the essay À l’échelle Humaine (“On a human scale”).

          His brother René, the founder of the Ballet de l’Opéra à Monte Carlo, was arrested in Paris in 1942. He was deported to Auschwitz where, according to the Vrba-Wetzler report, he was tortured and killed in April 1943.

          Bill O’Reilly, if Germanic Fascists took over the USA, would drop his trousers and bend over. How dare he impugn the French?

  4. Bill Taylor says:

    2 deaths now among the young folks that testified before the grand jury……what they said hasnt been shown yet but it is very strange…..i suggest that maybe somebody didnt want them to talk any further…..

    • Malisha says:


      Where are their deaths reported? Deaths from what?

      • Disappointed says:

        1 was shot and burned near the neighborhood Brown died. The other left work and was found near his home dead. I guess police took time looking for him. Sorry I don’t have their names. Guess I should have got that info first. :/

    • Disappointed says:

      I’m old but not so old I can’t remember what I read less than a month ago. The comments in the article you linked is blaming Dorian for the hands up and all the looting. Yet the officer said Brown had hands up. So tired.

      Nothing surprises me any more. So am I shocked at the treatment at that mentally people get. NO. IMO blacks, disabled, poor, and elderly are first to be discriminated against. Thank God we don’t discriminate against the rich, people would think America is cruel. Smh.

    • Malisha says:

      Wow, the people commenting on the Breitbart thread are out of their minds with racist hatred, “poor me” Fogen-style self-pity, and delusions of adequacy. What a bunch of low-life polluting thugs. Who raised those misbegotten “poor excuses” anyway?

      • MDX says:

        They are so stupid. One of the comments is that Johnson was holding Wilson’s leg as Brown was trying to take the gun. That would completely contradict Wilson’s fable about Hulk Hogan 2 being able to control little baby boy Wilson with one hand while he passed of the cigars to Johnson with the other.

        What you have is people filled with hate against any black male, but too much a coward to express it to their face, unless the odds are well stacked in their favor.

    • Breitbart stories always should be questioned because its namesake specialized in planting false stories for right wing political purposes.

  5. Two sides to a story says:

    I have a young, autistic grandson. My heart is broken for Neil.

  6. Malisha says:

    This is a little OT but I was thinking. For the first year that we heard about the killing of Trayvon Martin, the story was that this great guy who was tutoring the young disadvantaged kids and wanted to protect his neighborhood was just on his way to get groceries and then he spied a thug. Later we find out that he had a fight with Shellie and she left in a huff and went to her father’s house and he left the house with a rage in him and a chip on his shoulder and a grudge against the world. We were told Dunn was coming from a nice wedding and everything was fine until some thugs played music, but then it seemed more likely that he sustained some kind of humiliation earlier and was having a little revenge on the world to comfort himself before having his rum and coke and pizza and walking the puppydoggy. And then we get a story about Darren Wilson being on a “sick baby” call — wait a damn minute here. Who calls POLICE on a “sick baby”? Most folks call an ambulance. Right? Let’s have the real story here.

    I’m going to FOIA their asses. His call before that murder was no “sick baby” call. He had a fight with the pregnant policewoman he later married or he had some kind of falling out with someone or he suffered a humiliation somewhere along the line that day. Count on it. He went out to kill him somebody to feel better. I ain’t said that the way it ortabin sed, neither.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      Bingo. You just might be right.

      • Trained Observer says:

        Triple bingo.

        Fogen was going to show SheLie a thing or two.about his manliness.

        Dunn’s son married a Puerto Rican (with the bride’s fam grooving on a Caribbean beat, I would suspect, which no doubt pissed off the Dunnster).

        And Wilson was having difficulties with either his freshly minted ex or his preggers paramour. Three lying losers failing to cope with life, so they opted to indulge in death. .

        (BTW, if you listen to the recording of Dunn’s jailhouse visit with his son, you learn he knew nothing, absolutely nada, about the kid’s recent life or that of his bride. Dunn’s son himself has done jail time, getting his stretch extended over a jailhouse tattoo.

    • shyloh says:

      Maybe Shellie clocked Big Boy Z that night on her way out. That’s why all the bandages on his head. Just saying! But I think you are onto something too.

  7. a2nite says:

    Because the criminal injustice system is evil.

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