Police Taser Autistic Teen and Then, After Family Complains, Return and Arrest Teen

The Hawthorne City Council is considering a $300,000 settlement in a case were its police tasered an autistic teenager and then, after the family filed a complaint with the department, returned a week later and arrested the teenager.


There is a pending federal civil rights lawsuit related to the incident at Hawthorne Middle School. The lawsuit names police Officer Vincent Arias as the officer who used the taser on the teen. Arias said that he used the taser to protect other children.

The city just lost a motion to dismiss where it argued, among other things, that the boy had no standing to sue because he was not really injured.

What is striking is that there is no record of discipline in the case. While I understand that the officer claims the teen was combative, there is no mention of the suspicious arrest after the family filed their complaint.

Source: Daily Breeze

19 thoughts on “Police Taser Autistic Teen and Then, After Family Complains, Return and Arrest Teen

  1. This is a form of fear.
    I just want to thank all the lawyers/advocates that have to deal with this kind of gross behaviour (and manage to do so honestly) in an attempt to protect kids like this. I can barely read about this stuff without being affected, I can’t imagine having to deal with dishonest Gov officials who act this way day in and day out.

    I hope those cops get their clocks cleaned and once again;

    Thankyou for protecting our civil rights and liberties.

  2. You have the right to be tasered.

    If you give up the right to be tasered, you will be tased.

    Anything you say while being tased will be used against you.

    Do you still wish to be tased.

    If you happen to be subject to and covered by the ADA you will be tased for our amusement only. If you complain, you will be arrested and tased until you submit to be tased voluntarily.

  3. W=c:

    “I hope those cops get their clocks cleaned and once again”

    It can happen,by one of their own no less.

    “BLOOMFIELD — A Bloomfield police officer was sent to the hospital Saturday afternoon after he got into a fight with a fellow officer in the department’s parking lot during a shift change, a union official said.

    “Right now, there’s such a lack of discipline,” said Detective John Sierchio, state delegate for the Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local #32. “It’s a total free-for-all in Bloomfield. No one’s afraid of the consequences of something like this happening.”

    http://www.nj.com/news/local/index.ssf/2010/07/bloomfield_cop_brawl_sends_off.html

  4. Police Officer Vincent Arias was also summoned, and used a 25-watt Taser to subdue the boy….

    12 yrs old…. what a cop… I feel safer already.

    soon they’ll start tasing (and apparently arresting) embryo’s for kicking inside the womb.

  5. It’s a sad fact that in many jurisdictions the only difference between the cops and the gangs are the badges and sirens.

    Welcome to Munich, 1939.

    Papers please.

  6. My 13 year old son is mildly autistic. In initial encounters he seems normal, but questioning by authority (teacher, parent, etc.) causes him to go “deer in headlights” which I am sure any police officer would interpret as his being uncooperative. I live in fear that some random encounter will end up with my son having a record or worse.

    Anyone out there have any suggestions on how to help him prepare?

  7. “You have the right to be tasered.
    If you give up the right to be tasered, you will be tased.
    Anything you say while being tased will be used against you.
    Do you still wish to be tased.
    If you happen to be subject to and covered by the ADA you will be tased for our amusement only. If you complain, you will be arrested and tased until you submit to be tased voluntarily.”

    H-AY-larious!

    Or it would be if it didn’t so accurately capture the attitude of the police these days…

  8. AdoringFan

    You might consider going to the police union and talking to one of the union officers or reps. Tell them the situation and see if some “roll playing” might be arranged.
    Make it a kind of game with the uniformed officer asking questions, giving orders, etc. with you or a councelor to keep an eye on your son to see when he is beginning to “go up.” And then letting him see if he can figure ways that he can maintain contact with the situation so that he is no overwhelmed.
    Maybe he can build up some tolerance and create some tools that would help him in a real situation.

    Autism is a medical condition, I know I wear a Medic Alert necklace in case my asthma might suddenly get serious. Do they have Medic Alert for autism? At least if he were arrested there would be some recognizable id and condition on him that could be easily verified.

    Lots of people get overwhelmed when they are suddenly being ordered around by a heavily armed and armored person. Especially if that person has an “attitude.”

  9. I am autistic, past age 70 years, and am a Wisconsin Registered Professional Engineer with a Ph.D. in Bioengineering. My research is centered on public safety aspects of the structure of human society. From “The Liar in Your Life” (Robert Feldman, Twelve, 2009), “There’s a dirty secret I’ve been trying to avoid emphasizing in this book, but its about time we faced it. All of us are liars. Yes, that means you. And yes, it means me, too.” (page 258) However, “Parents of children with autism often report that their children are simply incapable of lying. While at first glance unrelenting honesty might be seen as a virtue, in fact it is at the heart of the social difficulties children with autism experience.”…”Consider the irony of the situation. Honesty in children with autism is viewed as a manifestation of their disorder. Subsequently, autistic children who were originally unfailingly honest but have begun to show signs of lying effectively are considered to be showing improvement in their condition.” (page 73) Quoted with written permission.

    From time to time, in spite of my best efforts, I have come into contact with police officers and other court officers. In recent times, I have observed that no police officer has ever believed what I have said, apparently (I speculate) because police officers “know” that everyone is a liar. I never learned the ways of effective lying because I never went through the infant-child transition which commonly happens at about 18 months of age. Were I to speculate further, I would guess that I have remained alive only through something hinting at possible spiritual intervention, though I have no way to scientifically prove that.

    I never developed the ability to “think in words” or even to “think in pictures” as Dr. Temple Grandin has written that she does. Because I cannot respond to coercive threats as people who have learned the ways of effective lying can, I have decent reason to fear for my bodily safety when I am in the coercive presence of police officers who (delusionally?) believe they have the capability to terrorize me into not being autistic.

    May the Giver of Life be merciful to such as they. This I ask, that they may be merciful to me and not command me to do what is impossible for me under threat of their inflicting upon me a violent death atrocity.

    I choose to not internalize terror directed at me by those who know not better how to actually be truthful.

    Avoidable mistakes are those which were avoided, and we never know what they were, because they never happened. Unavoidable mistakes are the ones which have happened, and we know they were unavoidable because they were not avoided. Any contrary view is a distortion of directly observable, objective reality. The demonstration of this fact is found within my doctoral dissertation, “Mental Health and Mental Illness: Cause, Purpose, Cure, and Prevention; A Bioengineering Perspective” (University of Illinois at Chicago, 1998).

    I am not anonymous, for being anonymous would constitute a violation, so I understand, of the Code of Ethics of the National Society of Professional Engineers, of which I am a member.

    J. Brian Harris, Ph.D., P.E.\
    Wisconsin Registered Professional Engineer No. 34106-7

  10. Hey Pigs! I hope this loser cop continues his Nazi mentality. He will eventually do something else stupid, brainless and illegal. Then maybe he will get caught go to prison and get raped by the entire prison population. He deserves nothing less as does the lowlife scum sucking police department of Hawthorne.

  11. This Police Agency is about to be taken over by The LA County Sheriffs Dept. The Hawthorne Police Dept. is on the verge off bankruptcy . With outstanding officers like this (SAC ) it is know surprise. For the last few years due to the economy forced me out of Ca and the Hawthorne Police may already be disbanded.

  12. I don’t know about others out there in our once, formerly, great country.

    But, as I see it, government has become our dictator and the cops are their hired thugs to enforce their will upon us.

    The only thing that really helps protect us (and something the cops absolutely hate), is the videotape from surveillance videos.

    Get one installed in your house. Get one installed on your business. Always carry a video camera with you in your car.

    When it comes to a showdown between you or another private citizen, the cops will lie at a minimum to protect themselves. Worse, you might find yourself up against fraudulent criminal charges designed to intimidate you to not testifying against the cop in court.

    Cops, as you see every day in the news, are sadists who lie at will to have their way over you.

    In Oakland, California, the City just agreed to pay huge financial settlements to several dozen citizens because as it turns out… THE COPS LIED ABOUT THE PEOPLE TO TRICK JUDGES INTO GRANTING SEARCH WARRANTS.

    Got that? The cops LIED to judges in order to illegally enter private homes. And guess what would happen if you tried to stop the cops from illegally entering your house? You got it. They’d charge you with assualt upon a cop and you’d be off to jail even if they didn’t find anything else on your property.

  13. I hear cops only get three day off with pay for tasering. I hope they don’t find out they get two weeks off with pay for killing someone.

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