In 2017, Sesame Street introduced a new character, Julia, a yellow Muppet preschooler who has autism. Julia exhibits behaviors that are associated with people who have an autism spectrum diagnosis, such as difficulty maintaining eye contact and repetitive speech.

The children’s program has always featured a diverse cast of Muppet and human characters to represent the neighborhood’s different ethnic, racial, age, gender, and monster groups, and its commitment to portraying a complex and realistic community extends to characters who experience medical differences. Linda, a deaf librarian; Tarah, a girl with osteogenesis imperfecta who uses a wheelchair; and Kami, a Muppet with HIV, show young viewers that people with disabilities or health challenges are part of everyone’s neighborhoods.

Keep reading...
Brenton Hager (Brooks County Jail)

Brenton Hager led Oklahoma police on a high-speed chase and used Facebook Live to promote his pursuit. Watch the video above. In the video, Hager goes live and says, "Hey, I'm on a high-speed chase, bro." According to Oklahoma ABC 5 News, Hager was being chased for stealing a vehicle. Rap Sheets adds that Hager has been charged with vehicular crimes before, like automobile theft.

Keep reading...
BRENTWOOD, NY - JULY 28: President Donald Trump speaks at Suffolk Community College on July 28, 2017 in Brentwood, New York. Trump, speaking close to where the violent street gang MS-13 has committed a number of murders, urged Congress to dedicate more funding to border enforcement and faster deportations. Trump spoke to an audience that included to law enforcement officers and the family members of crime victims. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Greg Doucette has a problem. #FSCK ‘Em All — his 30-minute podcast — is never 30 minutes long.

That’s because Doucette uses his weekly check on America’s legal system to detail cases of abuse by police forces against the very people they’re sworn to protect. He never lacks for material, and his 30-minute update often runs to 70 or 80 minutes.

Keep reading...

When Philando Castile was stopped by police on July 6 in a suburb outside St. Paul, Minnesota, the encounter quickly went from routine to violent. After informing the officers he had a permit to carry a gun and had one in his car, Castile was shot, an incident captured on video by his girlfriend as she sat in the passenger seat. The tragic event was the last of at least 49 traffic stops Castile had experienced in the past 13 years, for an average of about one stop every three months. Of all the stops, only six were for things a police officer could see from outside the car, things like speeding or having a broken taillight.

IllinoisPhilando Castile. (Credit: Source.)

Keep reading...

[DIGEST: Slate, Miami Herald]

Charles Kinsey, a group therapist at a Miami-area health center, went to retrieve an autistic patient who had left the premises and wandered into the street. He did not expect to get shot.

Keep reading...

[DIGEST: Huffington Post, NPR]

On Wednesday, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott––the only black senator at the Republican conference and one of just two in the upper chamber––delivered a personal speech on the Senate floor addressing the “deep divide” between communities and law enforcement. In the course of one year as an elected official, Scott asserted, he has been pulled over by law enforcement no less than seven times. "Was I speeding sometimes? Sure,” he admitted. “But the vast majority of the time I was pulled over for driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood or something else just as trivial." Scott’s address is the second of three in response to a lone gunman shooting and killing five officers in Dallas last week.

Keep reading...

[DIGEST: CBS, Associated Press]

Two fatal police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota sparked protests around the country this week. All of these protests were peaceful demonstrations, except for Dallas where things quickly turned violent after shots rang out.

Keep reading...