In The Politics of Autism, I discuss interactions between police and autistic people. Police officers need training to respond appropriately. When they do not, things get out of hand. In the case of Buckeye, Arizona, there may also have been a cover-up.
The mother of a 14-year-old boy with autism, who was traumatized after a run-in with a Buckeye, Arizona officer, says she never expected that what happened to her son would spark a national discussion.
Diane Leibel also said see police body camera video was also one of the hardest things she’s ever had to do.
“It was excruciating honestly,” she said. “I’ve never heard my son scream like that before. I don’t understand how it even got there.”
“We were afraid that our child would be ridiculed or that something would happen somewhere along the line,” Danielle Leibel said. "I didn’t think it would be from a police officer.”
“I’m every emotion I can think of. That’s my baby who was manhandled like that,” Leibel said. “I do see that would be reasonable to approach him if he saw him putting something to his face….But after he showed him what he had, that should have diffused the situation. It should end there.”
Parents of other children with autism have told they are horrified by what happened and how the incident was handled by the officer.