(Lindsey Sitz, Sarah Hashemi, Jesse Mesner-Hage/The Washington Post)
D.C., Md. & Va.
How a Black autistic man is serving 10 years in prison for a car crash
On January 4, 2019, Matthew Rushin, a 20-year-old Black autistic man from Virginia Beach, caused a car crash that severely injured two people. Today he is serving a 10-year prison sentence, while his family has petitioned Virginia’s governor for a pardon. This short documentary revisits the night of the crash and its aftermath, exploring how Rushin’s autism may have affected his behavior and influenced the course of events. Was Rushin a danger to society, as prosecutors would later argue? Or was he, as advocates would claim, the victim of system that never sought to understand him?