Footage shows an incident that happened at a school in North Carolina- a police officer handcuffed and threatened a 7-year-old autistic boy, for spitting in the classroom
School is vital in the lives of our kids, and the start can be quite challenging for them, you must agree. Therefore, apart from the determined and dedicated teachers, parents also hope that when at school, their children at school are stimulated, protected, and guided by all adults working there.
Unfortunately, things are not that perfect all the time.
A policeman working at a school in North Carolina argued with a 7-year-old boy with autism, and it has been caught on camera. In the 40-minute video, the little boy is handcuffed and threatened by the police officer, while the other staff members simply observe them.
Now, the mother of the little boy is suing the city of Statesville, the Iredell-Statesville Board of Education, and the officer.
The video has been released just recently because of the lawsuit of the boy’s family, but the incident actually happened in September of 2018 at the Pressly School in Statesville, North Carolina.
The boy, who was identified only as “L.G.”, had an individualized education program that catered specifically to his autism diagnosis, learning disabilities, and behavioral issues, and he worked with a special education teacher and behavioral health specialist.
School Resource Officer Michael Fattaleh noticed the boy spitting while inside a safely-monitored “quiet room”, and decided to do something about it.
As the body camera recordings show, the police officer arrived in the room, while two staff members restrained the young boy by his arms. He grabbed the kid right away, put handcuffs on him, forced him to lay on the ground with his face down, and interrogated him like he was an adult criminal.
He says: “He’s mine now!”
Then, he turns to the boy, and threatens:
“Don’t move. You spit on me, I’ll put a hood on you.
I’m not playing that game. I don’t do the spitting. I don’t mind the walking. I don’t mind the occasional shove. But you don’t spit here. He’s going to get charged. If you, my friend, are not acquainted with the juvenile justice system, you will be very shortly. You ever been charged with a crime before? Well, you’re fixing to be.”
The members of the staff didn’t do even a single thing to help the poor boy, and the officer kept traumatizing the boy. That lasted until the boy’s mother showed up.
The mother, identified as “A.G.,” asked him:
“How can you charge a special needs kid with a count of assault?”
Then she explained to them that he has autism, as well as separation anxiety, which must have been triggered by a busy day at school. Since the event, the police officer has resigned from his workplace at the school.
The mother has pulled the boy out of school and quit her job to home-school her son.
Court papers reveal that on Sept. 10, 2018, the mother of the boy informed the employees at the school, including the teacher, that he had recently been prescribed a new medication, which could affect his behavior at school the following day.
The predicted thing happened, and her son grew “agitated and verbalized being stressed out,” so he was placed into a “quiet room” to calm down, in the company of teachers and his behavioral health specialist.
The suit continues to explain that shortly afterward, the staff in the quiet room “communicated to a school resource officer that they were OK and did not need assistance.”
Therefore, they were not concerned for their safety.
Fattaleh, the police officer, did not face any repercussions for his actions. His attorney Ashley Cannon, explained that an independent review of the incident was conducted by the state’s Bureau of Investigation, and that “ there are no active investigations or criminal proceedings related to the matter.”
Last month, it was reported that police officers from Salt Lake City shot a 13-year-old boy with autism 11 times. It was all because he ran away from them when they came to his door after his mother was having difficulty with him. One of the officers who were present on the place expressed that the affair was none of their business, but the others decided to intervene.