It’s been closed. Does need updating though. @orenwolf: can you unlock M_Dub’s thread? It’s the List of Things That Frighten Police.
[edt] As a parent of a boy who will be a teenager before I’m ready for him to be, this just breaks my heart. Nobody’s kids should ever be treated this way by the people they’re taught should be helping them.
It not only cleared Officer Grossman but also came to the unsatisfying conclusion that because the autism label covers a large spectrum of symptoms and behaviors it “would be very difficult to teach officers to recognize them all.”
Why do they need to recognize them? All they need to do is provide evidence of unlawful activity! If they aren’t doing anything unlawful, then it shouldn’t even matter to the cop what conditions they might have.
And I can say as an autistic person, that you haven’t truly lived until you have aggressively detained a belligerent, disorderly police officer.
Cops are not lawyers, let alone judges. I see why this is necessary and often even a good thing, but it does ensure that any police training will always be based on heuristics that a non-lawyer of average intelligence can apply in-the-moment. Choosing good heuristics is hard. Just like building effective institutions. So of course, society has abdicated most of its responsibility to even try.
@M_Dub Yes, one of the many bad solutions in current use.
And the people that are supposed to reign in bad behavior by cops (DAs who should want to avoid losing cases, judges who approve warrants and preside over trials, public defenders, oversight committees, internal affairs) either have every incentive not to or have no resources to do so adequately (because politicians have no incentive to provide those resources).
Wait. Even if the kid was simply drunk or high, how is that in itself justifiable cause for arrest even if he’s not disturbing the peace and not using in public? I though blowing a bowl and going for a walk was an American Right. Playing with string? Seriously? Every cat in the country would be in the slammer.
But police officers do not have to become experts in every aspect of autism to learn how to recognize people on the spectrum and treat them with respect.
Hell, they don’t have to even be trained in ANY aspect of autism to learn how to treat people with respect. Because daily I see them going overboard in ridiculous ways and situations that don’t warrant it.