Media Advocacy Alert: Join The Partnership in Responding to the Preventable Deaths of Windy Newton and Nicolette Green.Sep 20, 2018 -- Posted by :
Date: September 19th, 2018
Contact: Stephanie Hydal
Subject: The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies statement on the preventable deaths of Windy Newton and Nicolette Green, two South Carolina women with mental health disabilities who drowned on September 18, 2018 while in custody of the Horry County, SC Sheriff’s Office.
Statement: The mission of the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies (the Partnership) is equal access and full inclusion for the whole community before, during, and after disasters. The Partnership grieves the tragic news of Tuesday night’s deaths of Windy Newton and Nicolette Green, two women with mental health disabilities who drowned in flood waters while being evacuated by the Horry County, SC Sheriff’s Office. Windy Newton and Nicolette Brown were in the back of a transport vehicle that was overtaken by flood waters. The two sheriff deputies survived by climbing on top of the van while the women in their care drowned inside.
Windy Newton and Nicolette Green’s deaths were not inevitable casualties of flooding; their deaths, like the deaths of so many other disaster impacted individuals with disabilities, were preventable.
The Partnership sends condolences to the families and communities of Windy Newton and Nicolette Green. To honor Windy Newton and Nicolette Green, and their rights as persons with disabilities, the Partnership seeks a full investigation into the circumstances that led to their preventable deaths.
Although the Horry County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an internal investigation, the circumstances of these deaths demand an investigation that centers on the rights of individuals with disabilities in disasters.
The Partnership calls upon the South Carolina Protection and Advocacy Office to conduct an investigation into whether there was abuse or neglect that led to the deaths of Ms. Newton and Ms. Green, and file a complaint with the US Department of Justice to investigate whether their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended and the Civil Rights of Institutionalized People Act of 1980 were violated at any point while in the custody of Horry County.
A full investigation into the rights of Windy Newton and Nicolette Green could result in increased transparency between residential facilities and community stakeholders and pave the way for necessary actions to build a committed relationship between disability community partners, responders, and residential facilities for appropriate disaster preparedness.
As the nation’s leading subject matter experts on the rights of disaster impacted individuals with disabilities, The Partnership advances disability inclusive emergency preparedness to prevent the disproportionate loss of lives and serious injuries sustained by people with disabilities and older adults during and after disasters in poorly prepared communities. Disability inclusive emergency preparedness is imperative to whole community readiness and resilience and results in favorable outcomes for disaster impacted individuals, families, and communities.
The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies