TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Kansas lawmakers adopted a resolution to honor the memory of Joey Weber, a 36-year old man with autism, who was killed by a police officer in Hays in 2016.
In August 2016, Weber became flustered when a police officer in Hays pulled him over for an expired license plate. The officer didn’t know Weber had undergone treatment for autism.
According to officials, Weber allegedly tried to grab the officer’s firearm. The officer fatally shot Weber in the chest.
“Joey was a fun loving young man,” said Senator Rick Billinger, R-Goodland, commemorating Joey’s life. “He enjoyed being with friends and living with his parents.”
Billinger, joined by Joey’s parents, John and Nancy Weber, urged the administration to take action in 2017, which led to the signing of “Joey’s Law,” allowing people with cognitive disorders to use signs to alert police officers. April 7, 2021, marks four years since the law was signed.
“Joey’s Law” allows people with cognitive disorders to use alerts, like stickers on license plates, placards, or signs on their driver’s license to notify officers of their disability.
Billinger motioned for the Kansas Senate to adopt a resolution on Wednesday, designating April 7, 2021, as “Joey Weber Remembrance Day,” honoring Joey Weber’s life and those that are dedicating their lives to helping people with cognitive disabilities.
“I hope this never, ever happens to another individual with cognitive disorder or autism,” Billinger told Kansas’ Capitol Bureau.
Joey’s parents continue to honor his life, providing scholarships to people with disabilities through the Joey Weber Endowment Fund.