Gilberto Powell

Gilberto Powell is a man with Down’s syndrome who lives in Richmond Heights, Florida.  On September 10, 2011, Gilberto, who was 22 at the time, was walking around when the police stopped him because he had a bulge in his waist band.  They tried to pat him down, but when Gilberto resisted, they beat him severely.  The bulge was simply his medical colostomy bag, which the police ripped from his body.  His life was saved because his father saw the beating and ran out of the home to intervene.  The police acknowledged in its report that Gilberto was not capable of responding to their commands but also claimed they couldn’t tell he had Down’s Syndrome.  One of the officers involved, Fernando Villa, who had a long history of police violence and has been subject to at least 8 internal investigations.  He was arrested later that year for being passed out intoxicated in his patrol car.


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