Petition to Pardon Reginald “Neli” Latson
[Image of a young black man sitting on a sofa, holding a small curly-haired white dog in his lap]
A Petition to Free Neli Latson: https://www.change.org/p/pardons-department-grant-a-pardon-to-reginald-cornelius-neli-latson
This is Reginald “Neli” Latson. And he is a young black autistic man suffering in solitary confinement.
Some of you may remember my first post about Neli. His hell began on the morning of May 24, 2010. He was waiting for the public library to open in Stafford County, Virginia. Latson evidently was wearing a hoodie, which was enough for someone to call the local police and report him as a “suspicious character”. Since then he has been in the criminal justice system after being racially profiled.
Kerima Cervik of the Intersected Blog started a petition on Change.org to free him. She says:
“Over the past four years Neli Latson has been restrained, pepper sprayed, shot with a Taser, bound in a restraint chair for hours, placed in solitary confinement, and criminalized all for having a mental health crisis during a catastrophic encounter with a police officer. He has suffered four years of hell for the crime of being a disabled young man. He never belonged in prison. I am the mother of a nonverbal autistic 12 year old son. If we don’t change the way our children are treated today, this could happen to any of them tomorrow. Our sons are NOT criminals! Please join the Virginia Chaper of the ACLU, The Arc of Virginia, The Arc of the US, ASAN, The Bazelon Center For Mental Health Law, and countless others in calling for a pardon for Neli Latson.”
ASAN released their own call for Neli’s pardon here: http://autisticadvocacy.org/2014/11/asan-calls-for-neli-latsons-release/
Please sign! And share this, spread the word, etc. We need to help get Neli free.
(Text for this post is from my original post on Tumblr: http://theravengallifreyan.tumblr.com/post/107832599370/free-neli)