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Aftereffect Ep8: "They call him Cheese"

One day in February, a group of staff packed up Arnaldo's belongings, moved him out of Carlton Palms and into a three-bedroom house in a suburban neighborhood. On its face, it's the type of setting disability advocates strive toward. Arnaldo has his own bedroom, more autonomy, a staff that looks after him. At the moment, Arnaldo is the only resident. He'll eventually share the house with two other men, but just days before the first is slated to join Arnaldo, he dies - under suspicious circumstances in the care of Carlton Palms.

WNYC Studios presents: The Realness

The Realness is about how a sick kid became a legendary rapper, but still couldn't escape sickle cell anemia.

Aftereffect Ep7: "The man behind an empire"

For decades, Carlton Palms' elusive founder, Ken Mazik, has wielded his power and influence to sway members of Congress and state legislatures into bending the rules in his favor, from scuttling laws that would have limited the use of physical restraints, to securing leeway from the state of Florida in order to amass a fortune in Medicaid funding. As one of his former employees told us, "Ken Mazik made millions of dollars tying up little kids."

Aftereffect Ep6: "When they don't behave"

A cup of hot water thrown on a developmentally-disabled resident. Another kicked in the ribs. A tooth knocked out by a staff member. Carlton Palms had a dark history long before Arnaldo arrived. So why is the state of Florida so reluctant to close it?

Aftereffect Ep5: "I need to believe"

A year and a half after the shooting, there are signs of trouble at Arnaldo's new home, Carlton Palms. The staff isn't keeping an eye on him. There are unexplained injuries. His mother isn't allowed to see his room and he's being physically restrained in a full-body mat for getting out of bed at night. And yet, his family continues to hope that this is the right place for him.

Aftereffect Ep4: "I Baker Act you. You Baker Acted me."

The day of the shooting wasn't Arnaldo's first encounter with the police. In fact, they'd loomed large in his life for years before that. Even as he bounced from one group home to another, the people that consistently showed up for him, often in the worst way, were the cops.

Aftereffect Ep3: "He was definitely a handful"

Since the beginning, Arnaldo's mother struggled to find adequate care for her autistic son. Her memories are often painful: the doctors who wouldn't diagnose him; the staff who punched him, drugged him, tied his hands behind his back in a classroom chair. These early experiences shaped Arnaldo. In this episode, we talk with a number of people who've cared for him. They recount a sweet, affectionate young man who was also capable of violent outbursts and fits of rage. Hidden beneath Arnaldo's story is a disability-services system starved of funding; facilities trying to squeeze every dollar out of their residents; and staff members willing to restrain their clients by any means necessary.

Aftereffect Ep2: "Suck it up, buttercup"

The shooting left Arnaldo severely traumatized, unable to remain in the home where Charles Kinsey had taken care of him. The next day, he was involuntarily committed to a hospital psych ward, where days stretched into weeks into well over-a-month as the state of Florida struggled to find a new home for him. Eventually, Arnaldo finds himself in a new facility with a well-documented track record of abuse and neglect. It's Halloween when we first meet Arnaldo face-to-face. Ironically, after everything he's endured, the staff have dressed him in a police uniform costume.

Aftereffect Ep 1: "Let me get this on camera"

Only Human listeners, we're here with a new podcast series that we think will be right up your alley. Aftereffect touches on the same themes of how health intersects with our lives everyday. Give it a shot. Let us know what you think. Just before 5pm on Monday July 18th, 2016, a 26-year old autistic man named Arnaldo Rios Soto walked out of his North Miami home. He had a silver toy truck in his hand. Hours later, his life would be changed forever. A passing motorist mistook Arnaldo's toy for a gun and called 911. Police and SWAT arrived and the confrontation was captured in a cell phone video. The encounter left Arnaldo's behavioral aide — a black man named Charles Kinsey — severely wounded, and it left Arnaldo in need of round-the-clock care. As a result, three police officers lost their jobs, including the now-former North Miami chief of police, Gary Eugene. In his words: "We blew it."

Aftereffect: A SWAT team, an autistic man, an American tragedy.

In summer 2016, a police shooting upended the life of Arnaldo Rios Soto, a 26-year old, non-speaking, autistic man. Aftereffect tells Arnaldo's story — a hidden world of psych wards, physical abuse and chemical restraints — and asks the question: What made Arnaldo's life go so wrong? Aftereffect by Only Human is produced by WNYC Studios, a listener-supported producer of leading podcasts including Freakonomics, Death, Sex & Money, and On the Media.

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