How Can This Happen?

Portland police recently beat up an autistic 15-year-old boy whom they've taken to be a drug addict. Why isn't there some sort of a technology in place that can prevent such horrible incidents from happenings?
Olga Kharif

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.

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