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. A case from Buckeye, Arizona is an example.
Suing the Buckeye, Arizona, police officer who beat up their autistic 14-year-old while he was playing with a piece of string in a public park, the boy’s parents say department brass justified it by saying the boy’s repetitive behavior indicated that he was “under the influence of an inhalant.”
Kevin and Danielle Leibel brought their federal complaint Wednesday against Buckeye, its police department and Officer David Grossman on behalf of their son, Connor, in Phoenix, seeking punitive damages on nine counts, including battery, excessive force, negligence, failure to train and illegal arrest. They also sued Police Chief Larry Hall and Lt. Charles Arlak.
Buckeye, pop. 65,000, is a western suburb of Phoenix.
The Leibels claim Grossman had no training in autism and admitted it when Connor’s caretaker asked him after she interrupted the assault. The family says Connor was “forcibly restrained, slammed against a tree, and pinned to the ground by” Grossman.