By Matt Agorist | Free Thought Project
Royal Oak, MI — A disturbing video was uploaded to Facebook Friday that highlights a terrible trend of using police violence to deal with autistic children.
The video shows multiple police officers holding down Kevin, a terrified 13-year-old autistic boy, who is screaming for help.
According his mother, Kevin was non-violent and in his own room without other students. EMS was called in order to treat the boy’s refusal to get up from his desk as a medical situation. However, police showed up and did what they do best.
“After quite a bit of time, because the situation had escalated to the point that it had, and the refusal of staff to leave the room so that I could calm Kevin down myself, and their continual interjections that he had to leave, it became apparent to me that I was not going to be able to remove Kevin myself, nor would he just walk out, and I asked that EMS be called in the hopes that it would be handled more from a medical standpoint.
The first to arrive were two young men from the Fire Department who were very nice, and likely could have succeeded in getting Kevin to agree to leave if staff would have removed themselves from the room and/or at least stopped stating that Kevin had to leave.
Shortly after that the police came in and that was it. A scared, angry, frustrated, panic-stricken, yet seemingly in control very big for his age 13-year-old child turned into a caged animal and was treated to some extent by one or two of the officers as such. The big guy smashing his head into the carpet was not my favorite, but of course other than videoing and watching and interjecting verbally for them to ease up and listen to my child was all I could do.”
Below is the graphic video of how police, who lack the training to deal with special needs children, react to a situation which could have otherwise been solved non-violently.
Sadly this is not an isolated incident. Just last month we brought you the story of 10-year-old Ryan whose autism got him cuffed and thrown on the back of a hot police car.
This tendency to rely on police violence to solve problems is worrisome to say the least. With the rising number of autistic children, and the lack of training police undergo to deal with these children, we could be dealing with a ticking time bomb.
Police used to be trained to deal with people and their respective special needs, now it seems as if their main concern is sporting their new MRAPs.
The training is out there and it is shown to be effective; it’s just that police aren’t doing it.
In a two-part study, researchers looked at use of the crisis intervention team, or CIT, model, a 40-hour program to train police to respond to those with mental health issues. They interviewed 586 officers, 251 of whom had received CIT training, and reviewed more than 1,000 police encounters with individuals believed to have behavioral disorders.
Officers who participated in CIT training were more knowledgeable about mental health issues, treatments and de-escalation skills, according to findings published in the April issue of the journal Psychiatric Services.
What’s more, when looking at emergency responses, incidents involving officers with CIT training were more likely to result in transport to mental health services and less likely to culminate in arrest. Researchers found that officers who had participated in training were also much more likely to indicate that the highest level of force used in their emergency response was verbal engagement or negotiation.
With the increased prevalence in Autism and police aggression in general, something must be done before anymore innocent children or adults suffer.
This article originally appeared on Free Thought Project.