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Thread: Family: Boy, 15, shot to death after attacking police had autism disorder

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    Re: Family: Boy, 15, shot to death after attacking police had autism disorder

    It's tragic for all involved. However, this kid was as big as a large male, and had obviously been out of control... dangerously so... for years. I don't want to heap blame on anyone here, but if police are putting their lives on the line dozens of times over a few years, clearly this boy needs to be either medicated or placed in a controlled environment where his needs can be safely met.

    Perhaps everything had been tried, medication and needs-specific education, etc., and had all failed. If so, the parents must have been at their wit's end. Still, I can't fault the officers for what they did, given his previous history of attacking police with knives and the fact that he had just sliced the guy's partner up in front of his eyes.

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    Re: Family: Boy, 15, shot to death after attacking police had autism disorder

    Here's a noble idea: How about the person to blame for this is the one who punched his mom in the face, the one who slashed a cop with a knife? Having a mental illness doesn't absolve one of responsibility. Even the most mentally ill are locked up, maybe not in jail, but at the funny farm. You can't just go around slashing cops and claim mental illness. I've never heard of autism causing that. My mother taught autistic kids and violence was NEVER one of their issues.

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    Re: Family: Boy, 15, shot to death after attacking police had autism disorder

    Quote Originally Posted by dontworrybehappy View Post
    Here's a noble idea: How about the person to blame for this is the one who punched his mom in the face, the one who slashed a cop with a knife? Having a mental illness doesn't absolve one of responsibility. Even the most mentally ill are locked up, maybe not in jail, but at the funny farm. You can't just go around slashing cops and claim mental illness. I've never heard of autism causing that. My mother taught autistic kids and violence was NEVER one of their issues.
    Here's an article about The Dark Side of Autism:

    From The Washington Post, a frank look at the reality of autism for thousands of families. As the teens with autism age out this problem is going to grow. Cute little boys who punch are a far cry from adult men (and women) who can injure and even kill. Ask Trudy Steuernagel. We need better treatments so that our boys and girls, men and women on the spectrum receive proper care. We need to train law enforcement. And we need a national alarm to sound that the autism epidemic is very real. The coming years will bring grave challenges. Violent does not mean criminal - but is our system able to tell the difference? And how do we teach and protect our kids from the backlash?
    "The Dark Side of Autism" Violence, Assault, Police Interaction - AGE OF AUTISM -- If you click, you'll see it mentions Asperger's too.

    I think one of the problems these kids (adults) have is an inability to control their emotions...anger being the operative one.
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    Re: Family: Boy, 15, shot to death after attacking police had autism disorder

    Quote Originally Posted by dontworrybehappy View Post
    Here's a noble idea: How about the person to blame for this is the one who punched his mom in the face, the one who slashed a cop with a knife? Having a mental illness doesn't absolve one of responsibility. Even the most mentally ill are locked up, maybe not in jail, but at the funny farm. You can't just go around slashing cops and claim mental illness. I've never heard of autism causing that. My mother taught autistic kids and violence was NEVER one of their issues.
    One of my students I coach has Asbergers. She is a loving sweet young lady who is a major asset to our athletic club. The only way you can tell she is "different" is she has a flatline personality and generally is always smiling. She also is very bright and while she does not do well on time limited tests (like the SAT) she makes very high grades at a local university (a good one with high standards) and in a stuff like independent research projects she often wins awards

    violence is not something I could even conceive of associating with her

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    Re: Family: Boy, 15, shot to death after attacking police had autism disorder

    Quote Originally Posted by dontworrybehappy View Post
    Here's a noble idea: How about the person to blame for this is the one who punched his mom in the face, the one who slashed a cop with a knife? Having a mental illness doesn't absolve one of responsibility. Even the most mentally ill are locked up, maybe not in jail, but at the funny farm. You can't just go around slashing cops and claim mental illness. I've never heard of autism causing that. My mother taught autistic kids and violence was NEVER one of their issues.
    It doesn't absolve someone of responsibility, however some mental illness is more severe than others and, if he was a danger to himself or others, he should've been to the "funny farm" a long time ago.

    I have a friend who works with autistic kids and deals with violence all the time. But who knows.
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    Re: Family: Boy, 15, shot to death after attacking police had autism disorder

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    The police were wrong. They should have used non-lethal force like a taser or aimed their shots somewhere else. The boy is mentally ill, they knew this and went in with 5 officers. The second they saw he had a knife they should have tased him. They acted improperly and due to their actions this person is now dead. However, if the boy was like this routinely he should have been hospitalized and placed on medications.
    Coming at you with knives or scissors? Lethal force sounds good there.

    A crazed **** armed with a knife within 20 -25 feet of a cop presents a deadly threat. The average dude can run that 20 feet in fractions of a second and probably too late for a cop to draw, point and then pull the trigger

    Dead cop or dead suspect?

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    Re: Family: Boy, 15, shot to death after attacking police had autism disorder

    How is it that police in other countries are able to subdue violent individuals without killing them, yet USA police can't do it?

    There is a serious flaw in police training when someone with a knife dies while facing off with several police who are armed with batons, tasers, and guns.

    There is always a choice in whether or not you kill someone. ALWAYS. Whether you are a trained officer who is allowed to use legal force, or a civilian about to commit murder. Always always always there is a choice.

    This poor boy should not have died. There is no excuse. This is a travesty.

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    Re: Family: Boy, 15, shot to death after attacking police had autism disorder

    Quote Originally Posted by Temporal View Post
    There is a serious flaw in police training when someone with a knife dies while facing off with several police who are armed with batons, tasers, and guns.
    "Proportionality" doesn't mean you have to fight a knife with a knife, it means you fight deadly force with deadly force. So taking out a knife-wielding suspect with a gun is GTG.

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    Re: Family: Boy, 15, shot to death after attacking police had autism disorder

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    The police could've done things differently. They have far more skills, and those "bat belts" around their waste aren't just for show & tell. There's several options an officer can take before gunning down the mentally challenged holding a sharp instrument.
    Last edited by Sunbelt; 02-01-12 at 11:47 PM.

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    Re: Family: Boy, 15, shot to death after attacking police had autism disorder

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Very insightful. I agree with you that medication may have resolved this boy's problems. There's some pretty powerful psychotropic drugs out there that might have made a difference in this young boy's life. Sometimes, though, parents don't like to drug their children. I think that's an ongoing problem in some cases. I guess we'll never know what really went on here.
    I think what's lacking even more is support for the parents to understand their children and learn how to cope with and respond to their troubled children when they're experiencing extreme issues.

    Sounds like she was at a loss and didn't know what to do - which is the plight of many parents (autistic children or not) . . . there's plenty of 'what to do' books for when they're a baby or 5 - but once they get into teens, and if they ahve issues - there's nothing.

    But yet parents are expected to keep their kids under control anyway - regardless. . . . you know: how was she suppose to know what to do?
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