[tabi] Fw: injustice for the blind

  • From: "Easy Talk" <Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 14:53:22 -0500

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Nick Maddox 
To: Easy Talk 
Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 2:31 PM
Subject: Re: injustice for the blind


Mr. Miller,

Thank you for contacting my office. I am very sorry for the difficulties you 
have had as a result of this accident; however, I have no authority over the 
Traffic Court, its employees, or any Court proceedings.

I suggest you contact the Chief Judge for this judicial circuit to register 
your concerns.

Best,
Nick Maddox


 

Nick Maddox
Leon County Commissioner -At Large, Seat 2
301 South Monroe Street, 5th Floor
Tallahassee, Florida  32301
850-606-5367
www.leoncountyfl.gov

"People Focused. Performance Driven"




Please note that under Florida's Public Records laws, most written 
communications to or from county staff or officials regarding county business 
are public records available to the public and media upon request.  Your e-mail 
communications may therefore be subject to public disclosure.

 
>>> "Easy Talk" <Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> 1/19/2014 11:54 AM >>>

Dear commissioner
I hope you will please take the time to read the below information and assist 
me in having Mr. Garry Roberts relieved of his duties.  This is a deliberate 
and blatent disregard for up holding the law which is his job.

Thanks for your time

Robert Miller

Case #2013 TR 037367

Citation # 5067GYO or 0

Defendant: Wesley Truesdell

 

Dear Hearing Officer Roberts:

 

I am writing to express my dismay at your decision to dismiss charges in the 
above referenced case.  Your decision has set a precedence that has caused a 
major injustice to blind citizens of Florida.  

 

If you will recall, I ask you to please read the White Cane Safety law before 
making your decision. Apparently, you did not do this, or you do not care about 
the safety of blind pedestrians, or you have no regard for the importance of 
the White Cane Safety law.  It is also apparent that you, as most sighted 
individuals aren't aware of the many blind people that have been struck by 
vehicles in the state of Florida and in many cases, the drivers leave the 
scene.  Can you give me any kind of justification for your decision after 
reading the White Cane Safety law?  Based on the testimony given at the hearing 
and the White Cane Safety law, I can't think of any logical reason for your 
decision and question your ability to be a fair Hearing Officer who is supposed 
to uphold the laws of Florida.

 

It is my intent to contact the local press and the Chief of TPD to make them 
aware of the injustice you are responsible for.

 

 

I hope you will take the time to read the information below. Perhaps then maybe 
the next time a blind person is hit by a vehicle, you might be able to make a 
reasonable and informed decision that supports Florida law.  Can you show me 
anything in the White Cane Safety law that justifies your decision?

 

I believe that Officer Thompson should be reprimanded for not showing up for 
the hearing. It also amazes me that you are a Traffic Hearing Officer who is 
totally unaware of the vehicle and pedestrian problem in Tallahassee and Leon 
County.  Within the last 9 months, there was an article in the Tallahassee 
Democrat that stated between 2010 and 2012, over 187 pedestrians were struck on 
Tennessee Street near FSU.  Since I was hit in August, over 8 other pedestrians 
have been struck, causing serious injury and in some cases, death.  If you 
continue to render decisions as you did in this case, the situation will only 
get worse.

 

Shame on you!

 

Robert Miller

 

Ref: Aug 03 2013 when I got hit by a 18 wheeler at a audible traffic light,
The defendant, Wesley Truesdell challenged the charge of violating the white 
cane
law and Judge Roberts dismissed the charges against the driver.  The police 
officer
didn't show up for the hearing.  I thought the judge was going to throw out the 
case
since the officer kept saying I walked in to the truck.  I ask the judge to 
please
read the law before making his decision.  Apparently the law isn't worth the 
paper
it is written on.
Robert
_______________________________________________
fcb-l mailing list
fcb-l@xxxxxxx
http://www.acb.org/mailman/listinfo/fcb-l

 

Good morning All,
As many may recall, Robert was struck by a semi truck while crossing a street 
here
in Tallahassee, in August. The driver, doubtless, trying to save his commercial 
driver’s
license contested the charge and a non-jury trial was set for January 15
th.


Three witnesses (including Robert BUT NOT investigating Officer Thompson who 
did not show up for court) testified at that trial about the events surrounding 
the incident.
It was established by all witnesses during testimony that Robert was indeed 
obeying
traffic signals. One witness stated, “The dog should have never left the curb”. 
Defendant, Wesley Truesdell testified that Robert walked into the truck which 
he’d brought to a stop when he finally saw Robert.



Presiding Hearing Officer, Gary Roberts seemed thorough and fair to me and I was
hopeful that the right decision would be forthcoming, as he promised to read the
White Cane Safety law.



Unfortunately, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Today when we went to the 
website
for Leon County Traffic Court, we found that case #2013 TR 037367 against D
efendant: Wesley Truesdell was DISMISSED. 


I amended to Robert’s early August message which basically outlines events as 
they
unfolded for him. I do not know if the White Cane Safety law has ever been 
challenged
in court before but I am afraid that this will set precedence for a safe future 
for blind pedestrians. I am appalled at decisions made by law enforcers who are 
supposed
to protect the rights, not privileges of citizens. I have, and will maintain 
that driving is a privilege, while walking (crossing streets) safely is a right.


Any recourse is gone now, as re-charging Mr. Truesdell would be double-jeopardy.
I could not feel more like a second-class citizen or less protected by 
authorities.
What of the Mayor’s White Cane proclamation in October? What of Sherman’s medal 
of
valor? How could someone “walk into a truck” and get a bruise on the area of the
upper-arm as Robert had? What of Mr. Truesdell’s change in story which caused 
Tallahassee Police personnel to decide to charge him after all? Is the 
investigating officer’s absence (lack of testimony) representative that the 
police department actually believes Mr. Truesdell is not at fault? Is Robert’s 
persistence in demanding that Mr. Truesdell be charged with the White Cane 
Safety law and upsetting Officer Thompson who wasn’t going to charge Mr. 
Truesdell with a violation an excuse for not upholding the White Cane Safety 
law, clearly broken, even if Robert “walked into that truck”? Am I reading the 
White Cane Safety law incorrectly to believe that the driver is at fault for
entering the intersection while a blind pedestrian was in process of crossing 
with
a guide dog?

 

Sila 


----- Original Message -----
From: Easy Talk
To: Kirk Harmon; Mike Ulrich
Cc: fcb-l@xxxxxxx
Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 5:49 AM
Subject:  Re: [fcb-l] Fw: [tabi] Blind Tallahassee Man Has A Brush With DeathAt 
An Intersection



Just getting law enforcement to be aware of the White Cane law would be a major 
step
and more important is getting them to have the right attitude.  In both cases 
where
I was hit I had to demand that the driver be charged with violating the White 
cane
law.  As soon as you ask the officer if they are aware of the law, they get 
defensive
and cop the attitude that you are trying to tell them how to do there job.  The 
first
time I was hit, the officer did charge the driver but when I got home, I got a 
call
from the officer and he told me he was going to resend the ticket since the 
driver
of the car behind the one that hit me saw me push the wrong button.  In my most 
recent
situation, the officer told me she wasn't going to site the driver since he was 
driving
a semi and they take more room to make a turn  and he was already making his 
turn
when I started to cross the street which was a lie.



The street I was crossing was 3 lanes and I was almost across the second lane 
and
approaching the third lane when he made a rolling left turn on green. at which 
point
when Sherman stopped, I was about 18 inches from the truck, As I was cursing the
driver, a blinker sticking out about mid ways of the trailer hit me on the back 
of
my right arm and knocked me down since I had Sherman's leash in my right hand.
At some point I transferred Sherman's leash to my left hand and as I was 
falling,
Sherman pulled me back and to the left which is what kept me from going under 
the
truck.  The first thing the driver said when he got out of his truck was, I 
didn't
see you man, I'm sorry.  By the time the officer arrived on the scene the driver
figured out, it wouldn't be a good thing to tell the cop he didn't see me so he 
told
her he saw me waiting to cross the street but he was already making his turn and
basically I walked in to the side of his truck.



When I tried to explain all this to the officer, she was having no part of it 
and
kept saying what the other witnesses said of which there were 3 other than the 
driver
and the 3 witnesses certainly didn't say to me what the officer was saying so I 
ask
her what witnesses she was referring to and she said she was talking about the 
driver
of the truck.  I ask her what about what I was telling her, that I was a witness
and I was there and I was still alive.  I certainly got the impression she 
thought
since I couldn't see I wasn't a credible witness.  This pissed me off and so I 
told
her, lets look at the evidence and explained to her based on where I was hit by 
the
blinker and   where I was in the road there is no way the accident could have 
happened
the way the driver said it did. After standing out in the sun for 45 minutes 
while
the cop was in her car talking to her sergeant and dispatch, she came back and I
ask her if she had read the white cane law she said yes.  I then ask her if she 
was
going to site the driver and she said no.  She said I was free to go.  I told 
her
she hadn't heard the last of this and when I got home, I called the police 
department
and spoke to SGT Simms and explained basically what I have posted here and he 
backed the officer's decision and even inferred for some time she didn't even 
know I was blind and the driver didn't either.  I informed SGT Simms they would 
be hearing from my attorney.  I called back a few minutes later to request a 
copy of the police report and by that time things had changed and I was 
informed that the driver had been sited for violating the White Cane law but 
they weren't going to site him for violation
of the pedestrian safety law.



Until we get the legislation passed we have been trying for the last 3 years 
each
incident will be your own battle but isn't going to do anything to change things
state wide.



If you want to read how screwed up what some sighted people think about blind 
people
and the White Cane law, go to wctv.tv and open the link to the article and then 
hit
space bar on the like button.  the comments start after the third header on the 
page.
Robert



----- Original Message -----
From: Easy Talk
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Sunday, August 04, 2013 7:58 AM
Subject: [tabi] Blind Tallahassee Man Has A Brush With Death At An Intersection
 Blind Tallahassee Man Has A Brush With Death At An Intersection 8-3-13 11pm
By: Bailey Myers
August 3rd, 2013
Tallahassee FL - A blind Tallahassee man had a brush with death Saturday at the 
intersection of Killearn Center Boulevard and Village Square.
Robert Miller explained, "If it wasn't for him...um...you would be doing a 
different
story."
It's a story about his seeing eye dog, Sherman, who saved his life. Robert 
Miller
has been blind since he was born, and has depended on his seeing eye dogs since 
he
was seventeen, but on Saturday that bond between man and dog was tested.
"He lunged to the left and back, pulling me away from the truck," Miller said.
Miller also said Sherman stopped him in the middle of the cross walk before a 
semi-truck rounding the corner was able to fully hit him. Instead it only hit 
his right arm,
knocking him over in the middle of the intersection.
"And I've been hit twice at that intersection, and it could very well have cost 
me
my life," said Miller.
Both Miller and his wife Sila, who is also legally blind, take that walk every 
day.
Hoping that people obey the traffic laws. Particularly one law, Florida's White 
Cane Law, which states: "Whenever a pedestrian is crossing... guided by a dog 
guide or carrying in a raised or extended position a cane... the driver of 
every vehicle approaching the intersection...shall bring his or her vehicle to 
a full stop. "
The difficulty is, it doesn't seem like many people know about the law. When 
asked,
'Have you ever hear of the white cane law' one passerby said, "No I've never 
hear
of that."
Eyewitness News Reporter Bailey Myers asked more than a dozen passersby, and 
they
all had the same answer, 'No, I don't know it.'
According to Miller even the police officer who arrived after he was hit didn't 
know
about it either.
Robert's wife Sila Miller said, "It's very frustrating when your independence is
compromised like that by someone just being in a hurry or not paying attention."
Both of the Millers have been hit by a car at that intersection. Now, they just 
hope
Florida's Legislature addresses the issue and work to get the word out about the
White Cane Law.
_______________________________________________
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http://www.acb.org/mailman/listinfo/fcb-l
_______________________________________________



 

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