Posted by: Olga Kharif on December 19, 2006
I live in Portland, Ore., and we’d just had a horrible happening here: Some police officers fired shots and beat up a 15-year-old autistic boy whom they took to be an adult under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The boy was walking along shirtless. He was carrying a stick. Because he is autistic, he wouldn’t reply or respond to officers’ questions or commands.
I can’t believe there’s no technology out there that can help prevent this kind of horrible incidents. I write about all these amazing technologies: EVDO, RFID, Wi-Fi, WiMax. There’s GPS, iris recognition. Why isn’t any of this used to help the police and disabled people out? Why isn’t it used to prevent incidents like this?
Perhaps an autistic boy could wear a wireless tag which a police officer might be able to scan at a distance to determine that the person he’s encountered is disabled, and not a drug addict. That’s just one idea.
We consider ourselves to be this high-tech society. And yet, this kind of stuff is allowed to happen to human beings. For shame.