Philadelphia’s Homeless Deserve Better. So do SEPTA Police. [philadelphiaweekly.com]

 

Before that damp and rainy Tuesday night, most of the passengers waiting for their trains at Suburban Station had never met Kenny Solomon.

We didn’t know about the car accident that permanently damaged his body, or his recent fall at Suburban Station down an entire flight of steps. We also didn’t know anything positive about Mr. Solomon or his likes and dreams.  But his introduction to us, and anyone who happened to be in the vicinity that night was resounding.

But the scene that unfolded on a recent damp and rainy Tuesday night made sure none of us waiting for a train at Suburban Station would ever forget him.

“Hey, Dumb Dumb!” declared a uniformed SEPTA police officer as he approached Mr. Solomon with his partner. The officer grabbed the back of Mr. Solomon’s wheelchair with one hand and took off with him. “Let’s go, Dumb Dumb!”

As the barely conscious Mr. Solomon sat slumped in his chair, he was suddenly thrust in reverse, while the only shoe he wore dragged limply behind on the wet terminal floor.

The jarring scene made me interrupt an email to fellow nurses in mid-sentence to pull up the video screen on my phone. I wanted more people to bear witness to the treatment of a man who could have easily been one of my patients. When I spoke up to raise my concerns to the officer he aggressively shot back “You want him? Do YOU want him? Then shut up!” 

To read the full article by Tarik S. Khan, click here.

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