[tabi] Re: Today is a sad and shameful day

  • From: "Clifford Roberts" <redroosterroberts1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2014 09:26:10 -0500

Like I always say there is no justice, it's just us.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Sila Miller 
  To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Cc: fcb-l@xxxxxxx 
  Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2014 8:47 AM
  Subject: [tabi] Today is a sad and shameful day

  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 15th. 


  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 Defendant: 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?


  ----- 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 right 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 thing 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.


           ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Kirk Harmon 
    To: Mike Ulrich 
    Cc: Easy Talk ; <fcb-l@xxxxxxx> 
    Sent: Sunday, August 04, 2013 8:05 PM
    Subject: Re: [fcb-l] Fw: [tabi] Blind Tallahassee Man Has A Brush With 
Death At An Intersection

    Good for you Mike! As far as you your quest for solid white miniature candy 
canes attach to the law we did that in Orlando many many years ago when we went 
back to do it for the last time the manufacture of the candy canes that gave us 
white candy canes a quick Mcmanimon know we could get was the red and white or 
gray and whiiings. Good luck to you as I worked  hard on finding another 
manufacturer that would provide us with a solid white miniatur to no avail. As 
far as getting the public To become familiar with the Whit can e law, it will 
be in matter of consistency 
    by our law enforcement community to site people when they make the 
infraction of this law and to continue doing so here and you're out it is also 
a wise idea, I believe, to educate the new young drivers through high schools 
etc.. Consistency in longevity yin my opinion through these law enforcement 
efforts will be the only way people will actually realize this law is there to 
be followed I believe also we will save many many lives in the long run. Kudo 
to your efforts, Kirk
    Sent from my iPhone

    On Aug 4, 2013, at 7:35 PM, "Mike Ulrich" <mulrich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

      Holy cow Robert!

      Glad to have you back among the living breathing and still walking!

      Speaking of Too close for comfort close calls, I will be working with our 
City of Cape Coral Police Department’s Public Affairs Officer; Lieutenant Tony 
Sizemore with a new program.

      This will be a program in which the traffic officers will be handing out 
warnings to motorists breaking the right turn on red law, and blocking of 
Pedestrian cross walks, that is, stopping past the stop bar.

      At least this is where it stands as of now. I intend on bumping it up to 
include educating the driving public on the White Cane Law of Florida. But it 
is now at the first step of the poker game! Know what I mean?

      What I’d really like to do, is to get the officers to hand out a card 
with the Florida White Cane Law printed on it along with a kind of candy cane 
type  candy, but  shaped like a white cane!

      I’m having a hard time locating a candy making company that could make 
these White Cane candies in bulk, at either a pro-bono price or at as little 
price as possible.

      The Police Department will be blasting out this program to all of its 
Social Networks and through the local media outlets as a program of the Cape 
Coral Police Department  in cooperation with the Southwest Florida Council of 
the Blind.

      They will be doing this program  as a two pronged approach. Starting 
right now, and during the week of October 15 National White Cane Safety Week!

      I am looking very much forward to working with the CCPD with this whole 
program, but it all depends on the driving public actually remembering not only 
the White Cane Law, but to look out for all pedestrians in general, and that’s 
always the big crap shoot! Ain’t it?

      Good luck to all, and let’s be careful out there!........Mike

      Michael D. Ulrich


      Southwest Florida Council of the Blind

      “Providing Insight for Blindness”

      Home phone: 239-540-7431

      Cell phone: 239-565-5845

      Email: mulrich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      From: fcb-l-bounces@xxxxxxx [mailto:fcb-l-bounces@xxxxxxx] On Behalf Of 
Easy Talk
      Sent: Sunday, August 04, 2013 8:07 AM
      To: fcb-l@xxxxxxx
      Subject: [fcb-l] Fw: [tabi] Blind Tallahassee Man Has A Brush With Death 
At An Intersection

      ----- 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 

       Blind Tallahassee Man Has A Brush With Death At An Intersection 8-3-13 
      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
      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 
      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 
      is crossing... guided by a dog guide or carrying in a raised or extended 
      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 passer by 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 
      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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