Greenville, S.C. — South Carolina Autism Society has arranged for Greenville police to undergo a voluntary training seminar that would help law enforcers recognize individuals on the autism spectrum— shortly after a man with autism was wrongfully arrested merely hours before Christmas Eve.
The incident sparked concern among families of individuals with autism, as the number of incidents involving the wrongful arrest of individuals on the spectrum seemed to have been increasing.
Tario Anderson was arrested just a few hours before Christmas Eve as police were investigating shots fired near the area where he happened to be walking. According to reports, officers saw Anderson and tried to question him, but the 34-year-old put his hands in his pocket and continued walking. He later on started running when police put a spotlight on him— and was eventually chased, shocked with a Taser, and handcuffed by the officers for ‘not following’ their orders.
Although the incident raised concern among families and many autism advocates, South Carolina Autism Society Executive Director Kim Thomas said that she doesn’t blame Greenville police officers for not recognizing that Anderson has autism.
According to Thomas, it would also be best if parents and families would educate their children who are on the spectrum on the proper way of dealing with law enforcement officers.
Thomas and her group have arranged for the training seminar for Greenville officers in May, but they are yet to announce the specific date for their initiative.
Contributed by Althea Estrella Violeta
Source:Tim Waller on the WYFF 4.Com website: Arrest of autistic man prompts call for police training