Monday, January 22, 2007

Police arrest Disabled woman using guide dog in Cambridge MA

Above is a photo of Officer Helberg who arrested me on May 14th, 2004 for entering CVS in Harvard Sq. with my service dog after notice. The police report stated that I had shown them a copy of the ADA service animal law, and "lectured" them on my civil rights, so, because the store shift supervisor didn't want the dog in the store "because it looks like a wolf and might bite someone" they arrested me when I entered toe store to finish my shopping.

This photo was taken on April 25th, 2006, in Central Sq. He said that if I tried to enter any store in Central Sq and the store owner didn't want the dog in there, if I didn't leave he would arrest me again. I asked him he he had recieved the training that Michael Muehe, the City's ADA coordinator claimed would "fix" this blatent discrimination against me based on my disability by "educating" the police about ADA law. That is public law 101-336. Officer helberg replied he hadn'r recieved any training about service dogs at all. then I informed him that the judge had dismissed the complaint against me, and I had filed a complaint against the City with MCAD. I also informed him the City had cut 1 1/2 min out of my 911 phone call. Here he is, right after I said that, scurring off, munbeling "I'm gonna check that out." I haven't heard from him since. I go into any store that other folks go into, accompianied by my servoice dog.

Today I found a link to a story in Florida on another PWD's blog. here is part of the e-mail I sent to the City Council, the ADA coordinator, the Mass Office on Disabiulity, the Office of the Attorney general, and, of course, my rep and senator.......

In Florida a person who deliberately interfers with a PWD accompianied by their guide dog is subject to arrest. The story explains the manager claimed he knew the law but "their" policy was to require alternative placement for "the dog."

In Florida, alternative placement for "the dog"is not allowed.

Meanwhile, in Cambridge Ma, the City threatens to arrest me again, and confiscate my service dog again!!! The City had demanded "alternative placement" for "the dog" and called it a "reasonable accomodation"!!!

The last time the City of Cambridge arrested me for being accompianied by my service animal in a public accomodation the judge dismissed the charges. Does the City really think it can keep threatening me with arrest for being accompanied by use of my service dog like this.

Public Law 101-336 states that the City is required to modify it's policies to allow a person with a disability as defined by the ADA to be accompianied by their service dog anywhere the public is allowed to go.

Why is the City of Cambridge allowed to continue to threaten me with arrest for being accompianied by my service animal?? The City's behavior is outrageous! (please see previous post, service dogs banned in cambridge City Council)

SHAME SHAME SHAME on all of you! (adressed to the officials) Why have you failed to protect the Civil Rights of PWD's as required by the Civil Rights Act of 1990?

In Florida the one who willfully violates the Civil Rights of PWD's is arrested; in Cambridge the person who's civil rights is violated is arrested.

Gee, I think we are miles apart on this issue.


At Tuesday, January 23, 2007 6:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you called the ADA Hotline to have the DOJ send an info. packet to that police officer and his boss? They will do that for you if you ask.

You also might want to call about getting an advocate's help. Or get a lawyer.

While the police only enforce local and state laws (not federal laws), there is a state law for guide dog access. Do you have that information? I think you can find it online on your state's Web site where it has all the laws. Keep that info. with you as well as the ADA info.

I have been to Cambridge, Mass. before but only to the big mall there. I think all the other places there were in Boston, like the science museum, the ballpark, and restaurants. I didn't have any access problems with my service dog (not a guide dog, either).

Oh - and to get one blank line in between your paragraphs you need two of the line break HTML command, which is "br" (without the quotes) in between the usual HTML greater than/less than symbols - < b r > without the spaces. (This thing won't let me post a comment with the actual HTML tag in it.)

Good luck with the access problems!

At Tuesday, January 23, 2007 6:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same person as above again - I just recalled I have been in a restaurant in Harvard Square. No access problems. The guy started to ask, "Is that a..." and stopped because he looked down to see the service dog markings. Everything was just fine.

At Wednesday, April 04, 2007 10:23:00 PM, Blogger Canine and Abled said...

Don't know if you are still having trouble with this city, but if so, you should persue it on a State level.... State and Federal laws take precidence (sp?) over local laws..which ever law gives the greater protection; as stated by the ADA. Hope this helps!

Kimberly Carnevale
Access Coordinator - Delta Society

At Monday, April 23, 2007 2:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did they let you take your dog to jail with you when they arrested you?


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