On Monday, police slammed an autistic 17-year-old boy to the ground, smashing his face and causing seizures.
On Monday, Marcus Abrams had just left his job, working at the Minnesota State Fair. He was simply standing on the subway platform along with two friends when Metro Transit Police officers aggressively approached him, without provocation.
Abrams told local KARE 11 that the he was simply wearing his headphones, not breaking any law whatsoever. He couldn’t hear officer when the approached him and began interrogating him, accusing him of being “intoxicated” because of his normal autistic behavior.
When he didn’t respond to the police officers – also something that is not unheard of for people with autism – the police violently attacked him.
“One grabbed my arm and the other one grabbed my wrist and I told them to get off me – I did nothing wrong,” Abrams said in an interview. “They just slammed me right on the ground. I tried to get them off me and (one officer had his) whole body on my whole face and I couldn’t breathe.”
The violent attack caused Abrams to suffer a seizure. He was taken to a local hospital, but officers did not so much as apologize when they learned that they had just attacked a teenage boy for his normal autistic behavior.
“I don’t want autism to be a crime, I don’t want people that have it to think that it is a crime. I don’t want people going around saying, ‘oh well if your child is this way they shouldn’t be out here by themselves,'” Maria Caldwell, Abrams’ mother said. “He was put in a situation where he was stressed out, a lot of pressure and confused. And I think that is what brought on his seizures.”
A spokesman for Metro Transit, Howie Padilla, said that the incident is being “reviewed” in order to find out whether “department standard policy and procedures were followed.”
That’s right, they still are not just admitting that the officers violated this teen’s rights. They are actually pretending their might be some way that attacking a teen because you think autism and drunkenness look the same is legal and legitimate.
“One of the things we will be reviewing is what did the officer see. What were the mannerisms?” Padilla added. “Our officers, in general, are trained to control the situation and ensure not only their safety but to anyone else that is around.”
Abrams was not charged, but that is clearly not good enough. These officers need to be brought up on charges for attacking an innocent autistic teen. When their bosses are still “investigating” whether or not their violent actions were “standard policy,” and not even discussing criminal charges for this brutal act of violence, then it is clear that it is up to us to raise awareness and spread the word!
(Article by M. David; S. Wooten and Reagan Ali)