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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

    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.
    You assume he hasn't already tried medication.

    It can help some people with autism, but it's not foolproof.

    Many communities are reaching out to their police forces to train them on how to recognize and handle autism, just like they do with mental illness.
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    Re: Family: Boy, 15, shot to death after attacking police had autism disorder

    Quote Originally Posted by ric27 View Post
    That *child* made the decision as to what he wanted to do that day. Don't blame the cops. Blame the *child*.

    Cops are sworn protect your ass, not kiss it.

    Lessons Learned:

    1. Listen to what a police officer tells you to do, when he tells you to do it.

    2. Don't swing sharp objects like knives that can cut a police officer if struck by it.
    3. Don't be an idiot and expect someone with a profound disorder in communication and behavior to understand 1 or 2. Don't blame either a child or a person with such a disorder for his decisions.
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

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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.
    If you are a cop and someone picks up a gun you shoot them, period. It's easy for us to criticize cops but they have family's they want to go home too. As far as the kid having mental problems, I'm sure many if not most that pull a gun on cops and shoot cops have mental problems. As far as the age of the kid, theres nothing scarier than a KID with a gun. Kids are used in wars precisely because they are kids and have no real grasp of exactly what is going on. Plenty of men in Nam were killed by so called kids, some of them like 11 years old. That is where the term "baby killer" got started, shooting a kid isn't fun but if they are going to shoot you, bye bye baby.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by tessaesque View Post
    Personally? Given the number of instances in which the police were called to the house, and given the severity of the teen's behavior during those instances, there is a complete, systemic failure at play here. The police and parents should have been working together with state/mental health officials to have the teen temporarily institutionalized until such time as therapy and medication led to changes in behavior that lessened the likelihood of the teen being a threat to his family or the community. It is very, very obvious that the teen had displayed aggressive, threatening behavior for quite some time leading up to this scenario. Intervention should have occurred a very long time ago. There is absolutely no excuse for that intervention not taking place before this situation arose.

    The parents obviously could not control the child. If they were able to, they would not have called the police so often. The police were obviously at a loss regarding the best approach with this child. Neither side was capable of facilitating the needed interaction with this boy to counter the aggressive behaviors.

    If blame is to be placed, both entities failed. And, assuming either side at any point in time sought help from state/private facilities and those facilities did not respond or put a plan into motion I'd blame them partially as well...though it would be the responsibility of the parent to maintain pressure to get help for their child.
    I think you're pretty much right on target here. From Googling, it's apparent that LEOs are getting educated in the difficulties of handling violent children/adults who are mentally handicapped. Part of that education probably ought to be assessing the situation and getting social workers involved to help parents handle these kids. There's this, though: negotiating one's way through the social services available to a mentally handicapped child takes not a small amount of smarts, determination.and persistence. If one wants to get the most out of that system, one has to be smarter than the average bear. It's very possible the parents just didn't have the smarts to get their son the help he obviously needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post
    This is what I gathered from another report.......This addresses your statement and this was the way the authorities other than the police were to handle this matter. Blaming the police is inappropriate in this situation:

    Officials say they have been called to the Watts home 12 times since June 2010. The Watts family said doctors and social workers told them the only way to get Stephon hospitalized when he was violent was to call police first.
    This isn't true. And, even if it was, they'd been called to the home a dozen times -- several others including a knife and one involving a hostage negotiator. It's pretty certain in my mind that the LEOs probably offered the family that option in the past, and like many parents, they couldn't bear to do it.

    The boy was also most likely on Medicaid. His parents are his guardians, as he is a minor. Getting him hospitalized for 24/48 hours would have been a piece of cake...in any of those other twelve encounters.

    The parents and the system failed this child. I can't second guess the officers at the scene...but the failure happened long before this kid was shot to death.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

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

    Rereading the article, a thought just occurred to me. This kid, who was well known to the police. 12 incidents since June, 2010. considered violent enough to require the services of 5 well trained armed LEO, was on his way to school. Isn't a school a place where a large number of children go to learn something and should feel safe?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    I do not think anyone is at fault other than the 15 year old who threatened police and cut a police officer with a knife. That's the result of threatening and using a weapon against law enforcement. I do not expect police to use a less lethal means to stop someone who is attacking them with a weapon.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    This isn't true.
    According to the source I cited it is true. If this was erroneous information provided to the Watts then it is negligence on the part of those "doctors and social workers".

    And, even if it was, they'd been called to the home a dozen times -- several others including a knife and one involving a hostage negotiator. It's pretty certain in my mind that the LEOs probably offered the family that option in the past, and like many parents, they couldn't bear to do it.

    The boy was also most likely on Medicaid. His parents are his guardians, as he is a minor. Getting him hospitalized for 24/48 hours would have been a piece of cake...in any of those other twelve encounters.

    The parents and the system failed this child. I can't second guess the officers at the scene...but the failure happened long before this kid was shot to death.
    It could have been a hundred times the police were called this time was different and the police were harmed with a weapon that could have proven deadly.

    MaggieD you are otherwise assuming a great deal of facts and injecting them into this situation. A negotiator was called previously, perhaps the boy was amenable to discussion and was compliant, perhaps there was no time to call a negotiator in this instance. Who knows?

    Clearly this time the boy wielded a weapon and used it.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Connery View Post
    According to the source I cited it is true. If this was erroneous information provided to the Watts then it is negligence on the part of those "doctors and social workers".

    It could have been a hundred times the police were called this time was different and the police were harmed with a weapon that could have proven deadly.

    MaggieD you are otherwise assuming a great deal of facts and injecting them into this situation. A negotiator was called previously, perhaps the boy was amenable to discussion and was compliant, perhaps there was no time to call a negotiator in this instance. Who knows?

    Clearly this time the boy wielded a weapon and used it.
    You're right that I'm assuming some things. I don't blame the LEO's, by the way. One just can't second guess what happened this particular time. My point was that "his parents and the system" let this kid down long before he was shot to death. Having a bestest friend with a mentally handicapped adult child, I've been more involved than many in this kind of situation. I know her reluctance to hospitalize him when he's violent...how hard she has to work the system to get the help she needs...how violent he can get when his emotions get out of control...and the ease with which she can get him hospitalized when he does go over the top.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    You're right that I'm assuming some things. I don't blame the LEO's, by the way. One just can't second guess what happened this particular time. My point was that "his parents and the system" let this kid down long before he was shot to death. Having a bestest friend with a mentally handicapped adult child, I've been more involved than many in this kind of situation. I know her reluctance to hospitalize him when he's violent...how hard she has to work the system to get the help she needs...how violent he can get when his emotions get out of control...and the ease with which she can get him hospitalized when he does go over the top.
    The system let the boy and his family down I agree with that by far. Anyone who has had to deal with mental illness in the family can easily realize how much mental, emotional and spiritual energy it takes, sometimes, just to get through one day. These parents and the boy should have had an advocate to deal with the system and get this kid help. Obviously he presented a danger to himself or others many times. It appears that any one of those times he could have been placed under observation and given further medical/psychological assistance.

    To my understanding there are no two situations that are alike when a police officer goes on duty and what occurred in this instance, while drastic, brings that point home.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    3. Don't be an idiot and expect someone with a profound disorder in communication and behavior to understand 1 or 2. Don't blame either a child or a person with such a disorder for his decisions.
    Be civil

    The attempt at using less-than-lethal force against an individual in a deadly force situation is not a prudent decision. The use of too little force can actually escalate a situation


    Who knows, maybe this little thuglett just got stopped from killing people in a couple years when he feels that he is unstoppable.

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