Town Holds "Pro-Gary Rally" To Support Cart Driver
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 10, 2003
SWEET SPRINGS, MISSOURI--"We are trying to let this thing die and smooth it over."
That quote was from Sweet Springs Police Chief Melvin Taber, who a couple of months ago told Gary Knight -- who has cerebral palsy -- to take his golf cart home, and later told his mother that a state law prohibited such vehicles on city streets.
But, as it turns out, there is no such law, not in the state of Missouri, nor the surrounding Saline County -- not even the town of Sweet Springs.
Also, as it turns out, the issue is not going away.
Last month, about 100 people -- in this farming town of about 1,800 -- staged a "Pro-Gary Rally" in front of City Hall. Some carried signs saying, "Let Freedom Ring" and "Don't be a beast, let our disabled drive in peace."
Letters to the editor of the town's newspaper have accused Chief Taber of harassing a person with a disability. About a dozen residents recently took out an advertisement in the paper, calling on the mayor, the police chief and the City Council to apologize to Knight.
Knight's mother has filed a federal complaint based under the Americans with Disabilities Act.