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Family Sues After Offensive Photos of Their Son With Down’s Syndrome Are Posted on the Internet

We can’t even imagine how Pamela and Bernard Holland of Nashville must have felt when they learned that a photo of their son, Adam, who was born with Down syndrome, was being used by radio station WHPT-FM in Tampa, which is owned by Cox Media, to promote a section of its website called “Retarded News.”

Based on a report by ABC News, they must have been totally disgusted and humiliated on behalf of their son, because they are suing Cox Media and other defendants for defamation.

Although the lawsuit doesn’t share info on how the radio station got their hands on the photo, the original picture of Adam, which was taken in July 2004 when he was 17, showed the young man holding up a poster made in art class that said, “Go Titans One.” The sign referred to Adam’s local Tennessee NFL team. He was just cheering his team on — the same way millions of fans do every season.

Sadly another Internet bully edited the sign in the photo to say things like, “I have a boner,” and then posted it on Flickr with a caption that says, “just a stupid photo of the sick retarded kid that lives down my street that my dogs hate.” But wait, there’s more. The suit claims that an online sign company called Sign Generator used the photo under the heading “Retarded Handicap Generator,” with an edited note in the sign that read, “I Love Making Custom Signs.”

Both Dave Brown, owner and chief executive officer of Sign Generator, and the Flickr user are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The Flickr poster sounds like another ignorant troll to us — clearly the user is and cruel and also probably a pretty miserable person who enjoys making fun of others. There are always going to be nasty kids making dumb comments online.

But if these allegations are true, what really gets us is the repulsiveness of a radio station and business making fun of people with mental disabilities. Well, you know what they say about karma...

Source: ABC News

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04.30.2013 / 06:21 AM EDT by Jo Aaron
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