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

  • From: "Wanda Stokley" <wandastokley@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2014 18:58:37 -0500



From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Tinetta Cooper
Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2014 9:34 AM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Today is a sad and shameful day

Hi Sila,


This definitely sounds like a miscarriage of justice, and I can understand
how you and Robert now feel like second class citizens. The TPD fell down on
the job once again when Officer Thompson failed to show up in court. I hope
Mr. Truesdell did not celebrate his victory, because his day is coming when
God seeks His payment!




From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Sila Miller
Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2014 8:48 AM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: fcb-l@xxxxxxx
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 <mailto:Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>  

To: Kirk Harmon <mailto:kvharmon54@xxxxxxxxx>  ; Mike
<mailto:mulrich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 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

 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 <mailto:kvharmon54@xxxxxxxxx>  

To: Mike  <mailto:mulrich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> Ulrich 

Cc: Easy  <mailto:Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Talk ;  <mailto:fcb-l@xxxxxxx%3e>

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

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
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:  <mailto:Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Easy Talk 

To:  <mailto:tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> 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 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
It's a story about his seeing eye dog, Sherman, who saved his life. Robert
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
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
his or her vehicle to a full stop. "
The difficulty is, it doesn't seem like many people know about the law. When
'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
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
White Cane Law.

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