Group Home Homicide of Heather Roselli Leads to Manslaughter Charges

Jonathan Carey "Champion for the Disabled" Born September 12,1993 Killed by caregivers on February 15,2007

Heather Roselli was developmentally disabled, she simply wanted to talk with her father on Father’s day, but instead she was killed by her caregivers

Over 7,800 calls are reported to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s abuse hotline for the disabled every month and between 11-13 deaths every day and nothing is being done to stop these horrors.”
— Michael Carey- Advocate for people with disabilities and their families

ALBANY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, October 17, 2017 / -- This year, on Father’s day, June 18th , of all days, the unspeakable happened, Heather Roselli, who was only 35- years- old was killed by the hands of her New York State caregivers . Heather was living in a State group home because she was unable to fully care for herself. Heather s life was taken; Heather was taken from her family. Heather’s father, Keith, got the worst imaginable news on Father’s day that his precious daughter has died. Heather’s mom, Holly, as well got the worst news a mom can ever receive, my God, when are Governor Cuomo and the State top leadership in New York State going to take emergency actions to stop these preventable deaths and ensure immediate 911 services for the disabled? Why is 911 not being immediately called regarding these types of crimes and medical emergencies? You can only imagine if this was your child, this type of horrific and deadly discrimination must end now. Tragically, these types of deaths of people with disabilities while living in State run or private group homes under the direct care of others are happening all of the time throughout New York State’s mental health care system, they are not rare, you simply do not hear of many because most are internally covered-up with the assistance of New York State Justice Center and . Heather died because people entrusted to care for her and watch out for her did the exact opposite of what they are hired to do. Months have passed since and finally some arrests have been made, but there are many unanswered questions and it appears more people are involved.

This horrific death of Heather Roselli and this preventable tragedy is eerily similar to the death of 13 year old Jonathan Carey in 2007 - . Heather was illegally restrained for a period of time, she stopped breathing and immediate police and medical assistance was not provider her. Heather’s death was preventable, if only staff called 911 immediately when she was being assaulted, leading into the bigger civil, constitutional and human rights issue of why are people with disabilities in most cases not being provided 911 services? I will shout it from the roof tops and many more should as well, people with disabilities are equally valuable people and they are supposed to have the same equal rights, privileges and equal protections of laws that everyone else enjoys. It is a discrimination and civil rights matter of utmost importance that cannot be overlooked any longer; many more innocent people will die if emergency legislative actions are not taken to rectify this gross injustice. Heather, like Jonathan, did not die in vain and their deaths speak loudly for not only justice, but for reformation, and the ending of decades of wide-scale deadly discrimination against countless innocent children and adults with disabilities.

Governor Cuomo continues to deny the most basic civil rights to 1,000,000 people with disabilities within agencies under his control or oversight after many recent investigative news reports done by AP News and BuzzFeed News (Google). New York State has been exposed many times now since Governor Cuomo became the governor, but these civil rights and criminal matters surrounding the disabled being treated unequally were brought directly to him and his top staff’s attention dating back to when he was the Attorney General. The New York Times “Abused and Used” award winning investigative reporting series, which was a runner up for a Pulitzer Prize, exposed the extremely dangerous and deadly New York State mental health care system throughout all of 2011, yet Governor Cuomo took no actions to save the further loss of innocent lives or put emergency measures in place to stop the rampant abuse and neglect .

Over 7,800 calls are reported to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s abuse hotline for the disabled every month and between 11-13 deaths every day and nothing is being done to stop these horrors. There is a pervasive attitude that without question reveals the level of blatant discrimination of people that simply cannot speak or defend themselves because of their disabilities. To say that “this specific group of people” is not worthy or not valuable enough to provide immediate 911 medical and police services and assistance is outright discrimination and in many cases obviously it is deadly. Both Heather and Jonathan would both be still here with us, blessings everyone they meet, if only 911 was called when the crimes being committed against them were reported immediately to 911 and authorities could have responded within minutes. The criminals would have been taken into custody before they could have taken their lives. Think about this for a minute and really imagine if this were you and someone was sitting on top of you, may it be your head or chest, you can’t breathe, your struggling to breathe, and staff do nothing? Then even after you are motionless, no one calls 911 or possibly attempts to revive you? It is the number one known trend leading to what are being called “untimely”, but really criminally negligent deaths, of people with developmental or intellectual disabilities, staff not calling 911, and Governor Cuomo does nothing ?
Governor Andrew Cuomo, to date, has done everything in his power to block a 911 Civil Rights bill from becoming law that has three quarters of the State legislators support and sponsorship. This critical life saving and discrimination ending legislation would ensure immediate 911 services for people with disabilities living in residential facilities and group homes. Countless innocent lives will be saved if only 911 was simply called. Heather’s homicide and tragic death screams out for wide-scale system reforms starting with the swift passage of the 911 Civil Rights bill that simply requires mandated reporters, everyone working with the disabled, to call 911 regarding physical and sexual assaults, significant injuries and medical distress situations including the ultimate medical distress, when someone has stopped breathing. Anyone who thinks, or believes, that a vulnerable person that cannot call 911 for themselves is not valuable enough or worthy of 911 emergency services is involved in Discrimination in Civil Rights of the worst kind. People that care about our most vulnerable, respect them, and that will provide them the best and most excellent of services are those worthy of caring for the most vulnerable amongst us.

Michael Carey
The Jonathan Carey Foundation
(518) 852-9377
email us here

The incredible life and tragic preventable death of Jonathan Carey, who was disabled, had autism, was non-verbal & only 13 when he was killed by his caregivers

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