Enact Stephon Edward Watts’ Developmental Disabled Protection and Safety Act Illinois
  • Petitioned Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois

This petition was delivered to:

Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois
Illinois State House
Illinois State Senate

Enact Stephon Edward Watts’ Developmental Disabled Protection and Safety Act Illinois

    1. Renee Watts
    2. Petition by

      Renee Watts

      Chicago, IL

Enact Stephon Watts’ Developmental Disabled Protection and Safety Act

We the undersigned hereby affirm and support enacting Stephon Edward Watts’ Developmental Disabled Protection and Safety Act otherwise known as Stephon’s Law.

Stephon’s Law, named in memory of Stephon Edward Watts, a developmentally disabled 15-year-old who was shot and killed, by police, in his home February 1, 2012. The officers involved in the shooting had been trained to deal with persons on the Autism Spectrum, like Stephon, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome; however, the training was inadequate in addressing the significant social, communication, and behavioral manifestations and unique nature of the disorder. Though police had made numerous visits to the home to assist with Stephon, due to agitation and aggression attributed to his disability; they were not able to render a satisfactory conclusion.

Recent data has informed us that Autism Spectrum Disorders are still on the rise affecting 1 in 88 children and specifically 1 in 54 boys, consequently, the likelihood of a first responder encountering a person with a developmental disability increases as the number of persons affected increases. With the aforementioned statistic in mind, it is crucial that we as a public increase awareness, understanding and acceptance of this population and similar populations.

The mission of Stephon’s Law is to reasonably ensure that encounters between the developmentally disabled and the community-at-large do not end in tragedy. Stephon’s law will expand disability rights laws that serve the developmentally disabled in the following ways: by mandating that all first responders receive adequate minimal training to address the exceptional needs of members of this population, and that all departments comprise crisis intervention teams that possess advanced training in cases of urgency; by establishing a protocol for parents, guardians, or the developmentally disabled, themselves, to register with local emergency response departments of their residence and nature of disability;  and by minimizing danger to the developmentally disabled by maximizing penalties for crimes against them.

The developmentally disabled population must have the safety and protection that is afforded them by constitutuional and federal civil rights, and fundamental human rights belonging to all persons by virtue of birth. Please give solemn consideration to this matter of utmost importance.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 50 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • dometi pongo CALUMET CITY, IL
      • 9 months ago

      I can't believe our officials can do something this vicious and not be reprimanded. It light of what happened to Stephon Watts, we obviously need legislation to protect the disabled.

    • Edwin Hiley ATHENS, PA
      • 12 months ago

      By removing the claim of ignorance by first responders, usually police, better outcomes and , just maybe, justice, will be achieved.

    • ELois Poole-Clayton CHICAGO, IL
      • about 1 year ago

      Because I lost a brother on May 17, 1980, who was murdered by Chiocago cop(old school mate, who became a 15th district corrupt cop;station who recently was exposed for RAPING individuals in the basement of 15th District(officer Devoyrce does the raping;with 15th district for 28 years, I have another brother who was raped in Menard Correctional facility AND NOW, at Chester MHC, along with being LIED on by guards('20 years of filing complaints, we finally prove they were LIEING on him, in their attempt to COVERUP him being raped by guards, where one COURAGEOUS employee there, has confirmed to I, that "David is NOT the problem". "The problem, are the GUARDS".)

      David's LIVER, has been DAMAGED from PSYCHOTROPIC drugs and his COGNITIVE abilities are deterioating this 2013.

      PLEASE PRAY that he doesn't end up in the cemetery (5) minutes SOUTH of Chester MHC, where 24 or more patients are burried because they DIED from the psych drugs they were given at CMHC!

      Statue 405 of the DISABILITIES CODE, PROHIBITS ABUSE of ANY KIND and Chester MHC, has VIOLATED this code/law, for YEARS and MUST be stopped AND prosecuted, for their crimes!

    • Carrie Smith NEW YORK, NY
      • about 1 year ago

      This child was profiled because our society allowed institutionalized racism to flourish. We have a responsibility to hold institutions, and the individuals who work within them, accountable for their actions.

    • Donna Little FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ
      • about 2 years ago

      One of my biggest fears was having a Black son with a developmental disability get tasered, beat up, shot or killed because he wanders. Too many people have no idea how to deal withthe disabled and may abuse and neglect the disabled and society,, from parents to teachers, caregivers, hospitals, police, public need to know what autism may look like. Too many autistics are dying and this needs to stop!


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