To the Editor:
Recently the news reported the abduction and torturing of a disabled 18-year-old male in one of the neighboring communities by young thugs who used an acquaintance to lure him into their vehicle.
This is just one example of what happens to some of our most vulnerable community members – the disabled and the elderly – who are an integral part of families but are discounted outside of the family unit.
Because they often lack discriminating skills to discern well-meaning actions from genuine concern, people with disabilities and the elderly often become victims of various deceits played upon them.
It is time to provide protection such as that being allowed for nursing homes in the form of video monitoring. The perpetrators used videos to capture their horrendous crimes and published it on Facebook (which showed they took pride in their cowardly deed); if the disabled teen had been wearing hidden body cam technology, the police may have been alerted sooner.
There also is a good chance that these harms never would have occurred if the criminals knew beforehand they were being watched, since being observed causes behavior changes for the better, according to most studies.
That these thugs who were barely voting age hurled racial slurs and political insults to justify their cruelty to a disabled acquaintance who took his safety for granted because he knew them, makes me wonder at the possibility of retaliatory actions upon innocents by factions so inclined.
The acts are reminiscent of the 2013 teen killings of two black men.
That case is similar because it involved four white teens (one a police officer's son) who lured two black men into their Joliet home, killed them, then partied afterward by fornicating on top of their dead bodies. There is no doubt in my mind if the disabled teen had not escaped, he would have suffered the same fate as well.