Mentally Disabled Abused in a “Human Dog Fighting” Case


Take a quick look at my blog, and you’ll see that I ardently advocate all things mental health related. In my last article, “Mental Illness Falls by the Wayside,” I spoke about the comparisons between mental health and other diseases. (Examples included cancer, diabetes, and AIDS.) The conclusion spoke volumes-society in general does not view mental illness as a serious health concern, and beyond that, our society is genuinely uncomfortable seeing, hearing, or being around anyone or anything associated with mental illness.

A shining example of some of  the revolting behaviors displayed towards mental illness aired on Fox News’s Studio B yesterday. ( Just to clarify-I am not Fox New’s biggest fan, I generally abhor what they air, but I have to give them due props for getting this one right.)

During the segment, Studio B reported that mental patients at a state-run facility in Corpus Christi, TX were forced into a personalized version of the movie “Fight Club” by night shift employees. Local police found out about the abuse after a lost cell phone was turned in. The cell phone contained video footage which showed patients being forced to fight one another.  Thankfully, the viral video led to the night shift employees being fired- but, this incident is far from over.

According to John Richardson, a former prosecutor, the defendants could get less time than NFL quarterback Michael Vick did in his dog fighting case. The standard punishment for a case like this is two to ten years in prison, but it’s at the judge’s discretion, which could lead to a contemptible sentence of only probation. “I think these people are cowards, and should be charged with torturing mentally disabled people, but unfortunately, that law is not on the books in the state of  Texas,” says Richardson.

Texas seems to be a breeding ground for abuse and neglect where it concerns mental illness. In 2004, 800 employees of mental institutions were either fired or suspended for abuse, according to statistics aired on Studio B.

Mr. Richardson was quick to reply with some statistics of his own, “In 2007 alone, there were a reported 53 deaths related to abusing mentally disabled patients. Abuse included people sitting in their own feces, rapes, beatings, killings, and in one instance, throwing a mentally disabled person into a pool with a straight jacket.”

As a person who is both directly and indirectly affected by mental illness, I’m used to seeing all the stigmas attached to the disease, which in and of itself is heartbreaking, but this, this is an abomination.

I have to echo the sentiments of the host of Studio B and say to the Governor of Texas, “How can you sleep at night?”

If you’d like to see the whole 5 minute segment, go back to my main page and go down to the middle. You’ll see my Vod Pod there, click on the video and a separate window will pop up- but I warn you, the cell phone video images are disturbing.

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2 thoughts on “Mentally Disabled Abused in a “Human Dog Fighting” Case

  1. Thank you for that information Nicole, I am as much an advocate for animal rights as I am for mental health. I will try and check out the documentary when both time and money allow. Kudo’s to you, and to the whole “Vicktory” crew.

    As far as the question, “does Mike Vick deserve a second chance”, thats a tricky question. Undoubtedly, what he did was wrong, and if he were any other person he would have gotten more time, and should have-but I do believe in 2nd chances…..

    Maybe he should be put in a few rounds of “human dog fighting”, and then when he doesn’t meet the standards, he should be brutally beaten. Perhaps that’s the fairest answer I can give. There doesn’t seem to be such a thing as “real” justice anymore.

  2. Does Michael Vick Deserve a 2nd Chance?

    Vicktory to the Underdog
    http://strangleholdmerch.com/vicktory-to-the-underdog-p-191.html

    “Vicktory To The Underdog” takes an in depth look at world renowned tattoo artist “Brandon Bond” and his dog rescue efforts – particularly rescuing the infamous Michael Vick fighting dogs.
    Rather than focusing on the dog fighting problem, the movie sheds light on solutions leading to “Vicktory” for all the underdogs in the movie – tattoo people, pitbulls, parolees and all the other people in this world that society has turned their back on through ignorance and racism.
    The movie also examines the life of Brandon Bond and his struggle with balancing fame, fortune and the Rock-N-Roll tattoo lifestyle with a more fulfilling life that focuses on the betterment of both animals and society as a whole.
    Featuring celebrities like Debbie and Danny Trejo, Michael Berryman, Pixie Acia and Donal Logue, the movie takes you on an incredible journey you will never forget!

    Proceeds for this film will be going to Villa Lobos Pitbull Rescue. http://www.vrcpitbull.com

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