In The Politics of Autism, I discuss interactions between first responders and autistic people. Police officers need training to respond appropriately. When they do not, things get out of hand.
A local family was outraged Friday after a 16-year-old boy with autism was tasered by police during a traffic stop in Burbank.
Fighting back tears, a 16-year-old autistic teen waited to be booked on charges he assaulted a Burbank police officer during a violent encounter.
"This has been a devastating experience seeing my child on the ground, being tased by a police officer...worst moment of my life," said mother Tawnya Nevarez.
It happened last Friday at the intersection of Hollywood Way and Burbank Boulevard.
The officer pulled Tawnya Nevarez over because her son, whom the family does not want to name, wasn't wearing a seat belt.
They said he became agitated during the stop, and his mother told the officer he was autistic. It ended with the teen being tasered and sent to the hospital.
"There's no reason that a routine traffic stop with a 16-year-old autistic kid should ever end with that kid on the ground being tased, being pepper-sprayed and having a seizure," said the family's attorney, Areva Martin.
Police said the teen attacked the officer, who was wearing an audio recorder, hitting him in the head and body.