The South Carolina Autism Society, which had already scheduled training seminars for law enforcement agencies in the Greenville, Columbia and Charleston-areas, has invited Greenville police to attend after the controversial arrest of Tario Anderson.
"I sent (Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller) an email the other day to sort of introduce myself and I haven't heard back from him yet. I hope we'll be able to meet up and be able to get some of his officers to come," said Kim Thomas, the group's executive director.
Anderson, 34, was arrested just before midnight on Christmas Eve, as police were investigating possible shots being fired near Sullivan and Burns Streets.
Officers said they saw Anderson walking on the sidewalk and tried him to question him. They said when they put a spotlight on Anderson, he put his hands in his pockets, started walking the other way and eventually started running from them. He was shocked with a Taser and arrested because he didn't follow the officers' commands.
Thomas said she doesn't blame the officers for not recognizing Anderson was autistic. But she said his reaction that night raised several red flags.
"I know the officers tried to talk to (Anderson) and get him stop and he would not stop or answer back. If someone isn't making eye contact, isn't verbally communicating, I think that could be an indicator to them that someone may be on the spectrum," Thomas said.