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> Police Beat Autistic Teen?
Fremen Bryan
Apr 28 2009, 07:25 PM

"The Sleeper must awaken"

2-February 08
Ohio, America, Earth, Universe

Family claims Chicago police officer beat autistic teenager


(or) http://tinyurl.com/d3ux5x

Cops decline to discuss incident which they say is under investigation
By Angela Rozas | Tribune reporter April 25, 2009 arozas@...

Days after Chicago police promoted their expanded training for dealing with
people with autism, a teen with the disorder was allegedly struck by an officer
who ignored the family's pleas that he was a "special boy."

While Chicago police refused to discuss the incident, relatives of Oscar Guzman
detailed the alleged assault and said it was an example of why more officers
need to be trained in handling people with special needs.

Guzman, 16, was standing on the sidewalk Wednesday night, taking a break from
working in his family's fast-food restaurant in the Pilsen neighborhood. He was
watching cars go by when a police cruiser pulled up and two officers began
asking him questions, his family says.

Guzman didn't understand the questions, said his sister Nubia, 25, and looked
down, away and eventually began walking away. Diagnosed with moderate autism at
age 4, he doesn't like confrontation, his sister said.

The officers went after him, his family said, prompting the frightened boy to
run into the family restaurant, yelling "I'm a special boy!" as he fled, his
sister said.

Despite Guzman's parents yelling to the officers that he was a "special boy"
with "special needs," one of the officers struck Guzman in the head with a
baton, cutting a gash that would require eight staples, his sister said. The
parents witnessed the blow being struck, she said.

On the ground, blood pouring from his head, Guzman, who has the mental capacity
of a 5th grader, mumbled again and again, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I submit. I
submit," his family said.

The Police Department confirmed the incident is under investigation but declined
to give the officers' version of what happened. The Independent Police Review
Authority said it is investigating and has interviewed relatives of the boy.

The family said it is considering filing a lawsuit against the officers.

The incident occurred the same week the department promoted its award-winning
Crisis Intervention Team, a program to train officers to recognize the needs of
citizens with mental illness or disabilities. More than 1,100 of the
department's 13,500 officers have gone through the 40-hour training since its
inception in 2004. The program has won national praise, and just last month,
its leader received a Chicago police departmental commendation for the team's

To mark Autism Awareness month, the department held its first Autism Safety
Awareness night with the Easter Seals on Monday and sent out a six-page training
memo to all sworn personnel on autism and police responses. The department also
handed out thousands of index cards with tips on how to handle people with
autism and distributed buttons for officers to wear.

The department also now trains new recruits in dealing with people with mental

While he could not speak to what happened Wednesday, Officer Jerald Nelson, a
member of the Crisis Intervention Team who has an 18-year-old son with autism,
said the department has been working to better train officers on how to handle
people with autism.
"To recognize it, that's number one," Nelson said. Some characteristics of
autism - - avoiding eye contact, not responding to questions - - are the same
trouble signs that officers are taught to look for in suspects, he said. But
officers could make a situation worse if they don't recognize the difference
between suspects and those with disabilities. Touching someone with autism
lightly can agitate them, for instance, and certain restraints can even endanger
them, Nelson said.

One in 160 children has a diagnosis of autism, Nelson said. Statistics show that
officers are seven times more likely to have contact with a developmentally
disabled person than the general public.

Colleen Shinn, training specialist and manager of the Autism Program service
centers for the Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago, said the department has made
strides in developing autism training.

"I think it's great they're being proactive," she said. "There's more work to
be done."

But two days after the incident, Guzman's family says not enough has been done.
They want the officers involved fired.

"It's upsetting. Shouldn't they all be getting trained for this?" said Nubia

She worries her brother is scarred. Guzman, who never had trouble with police,
has cried at odd moments since Wednesday night, his family said.

He drew a picture of the incident, displaying the angry face of a towering
officer holding what looks like a bat over a cowering figure. On Friday he
described the incident in clipped phrases to a reporter.

"Something terrible happened," the teen said. "One chased me. Killing.
Killing unnecessary people. Innocent. Beating people with the stick. It's
terrible. ... It's going to heal. I'm all right."

His mother, who was always protective of him and had to be persuaded to let him
walk to his favorite Chinese restaurant down the street, said she now fears
letting the teen out of her sight.

"This time they hit him. The next time, they may kill him," Maria Guzman said.

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May 6 2009, 05:49 AM

Unregistered / Not Logged In

Cops are brutal . . they are not taught to have compassion on anyone or deal with reality, just with brutality. It sucks when they beat a person for no reason and a year and a half later that person is still in wretched pain, but the police? THey do not even think twice about what they did, they are on to their next victim, they can come against one person in numbers likea gang and tear that person's health limb by limb terrorizing them and forcing them into submission, but they never have to answre for what they did to that person, essentially ruining people's lives and forcing them to live in fear of retaliation. Look at this poor kid, scared and drawing pictures the only way he knows how to communicate, the cops mercilessly beating the poorest people in society .. sickening..it is one of the saddest things in the world, just one of them. .I pray for these people. .maybe God will help them..frustrating.
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Jun 7 2009, 08:53 AM

Urban Guerrilla

13-October 03
Australia / Pakistan

This is Sick! What in the HELL is going on?
And people belive that pakistan is the worlds most dangerous country!
mad.gif Bullshit!

" Free speech is a lot like money,
some people just have more of it than others..."

" If you shudder with indignation at every injustice,
then you are a comrade of mine'...CHE

" Roti, caprah aur makan!"
Pakistani People's Party Slogan

" Today is a good day to fight - today is a good day to die!"
Crazy Horse Oglala Sioux.
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