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Buckeye Arizona Police Take Down Autistic Teen for Stimming

Teachable-momentsNOTE:  We hope this poor young man is OK.  Autism has many variations, versions and vagaries. The epidemic denialists and neurodiversity whitewashers would have you believe autism is simply a Swiss army knife of unique skills for life and not different from eye color or even race. It's "just" a brain difference. We beg to differ. At all points on the spectrum, our loved ones with autism are in danger. The answer is treatment and maybe even prevention, of course, for the future. But for those here, whom we love and adore? The answer is education. These police officers mistook stimming for a dangerous move. And it's not a stretch to understand how that could happen. If  police tell someone to "freeze" and he keeps moving, he is in mortal peril. Law enforcement doesn't have the luxury of perusing the DSM V for the traits of autism. That said, a bit of empathy and kindness and human thought could have prevented this awful event. Educate the police. Educate the public as to the real life traits of autism - the bad and the ugly along with the good.  Otherwise the Buckeye Arizona teen will always have a bulls eye his back. And so will our children and friends with autism. KR


From NBC 4 Arizona

Police in Buckeye, Arizona, have released body camera footage of an officer detaining a teen boy with autism who he believed to be doing drugs.

The footage, taken the afternoon of July 19, 2017, shows Officer Grossman with the Buckeye Police Department go to the ground with Connor Leibel, 14. The news release does not give Officer Grossman's first name.

At one point, you can hear Connor tell Grossman "I'm stimming," which is a common technique used by people with autism. The officer didn't understand the word and didn't recognize the boy had autism.

He asks Connor for identification, but the teen says he doesn't have any ID and begins to walk away.

The boy screams when the officer puts his hands on him and they fall to the ground. He also shouts multiple times, "I'm OK!"

The incident started when Officer Grossman saw the teen alone in a park.

The release said the boy was "moving his hand to his face in a manner consistent with inhaling, and then [Grossman] observed the teenager's body react accordingly after that movement."

The officer approached the boy and asked what he was doing, but the teen walked away. That's when the officer "lawfully detained the teenager, causing both of them to fall to the ground," according to the release.


John Stone

This correspondence has been stirring at the back of my mind after a few days. I mentioned a couple of times the fact that the British police do not routinely carry guns which I reckon to be a good thing, but also the product of two centuries of public disarmement. I can also see that this would not be easily replicable in the US.


Hello Bob. I agree with what you say that training is imperitive, it is also the solution and prevention to this happening again . I really hope Buckeye Police Dept realises the leadership opportunity this gives them to grasp the nettle with the acute training deficiency about Autism presentation their workforce can face in the community. I hope they will put their organisational ego and pride aside enough to meet with this family to offer a genuine apoligy to Connor because if not,next time this young lad sees a police uniform or car,how do they think he is going to feel about it?
as for other comments about this serious incident I think that everyones comments are valuable appreciated and important . even if they are not everyones cup of tea? for somthing as important as this vaccination risk assessment issues . Yes indeed 9/11 changed all our lives everywhere .
But the Fire Brigade and Police indestructable sense of humor remains unchange and unruffled !
See Rikki Fulton Supercop with Mark McManus Taggert youtube and John Smeaton Glasgow Airport Terror attack Then watch Billy Connoly Terrorist attack at Glasgow airport . The main message is
we will set about any freaked out fundamentalist behaviour medicalised mandates for vaccines will be treated the same way don' even think about brining them to the UK we will set about them good and proper !

cia parker


I'm certainly against all programs of covertly synchronized propaganda designed to pressure people into thinking only one way. I am extremely angry that there are so many of them and they appear, at least, to have some success. But we'll win. Our speech therapist asked if it would be all right if a young Master's student in special ed observed her session with C. yesterday. I said sure. It was a young woman from Kazakhstan, the first person I had ever met from there, a very pretty, very friendly girl, half Kazakh and half Russian. I emailed her with C's history with a LOT of information on vaccine reactions. She said she was very interested, and asked if I would mind her sharing this information with her friends and colleagues in Kazakhstan. She said she had many friends who were certain that autism is caused by vaccines. I said of course, send it to whomever you like. So we have already made inroads as far afield as Kazakhstan, although, of course, just the universal sequence in the case of many children of first vaccine, then disabling reaction, would probably have done it even in our absence.

I would be disappointed if Douglas Murray supported such dishonesty as you describe, disappointed and very surprised, as I believe from what I have read and seen in his videos that he is a man of honor, passion, and integrity. I haven't seen him say anything at all on this subject, so I really don't know.

John Stone


As far as I am concerned this site is in favor of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Parsees and anyone else - we are just in favor of people from whatever background against corporate pharmaceutical crime.

I did not say Berkley does not have the right to express an opinion but the Spectator published without any disclosure of the multiple conflicts in being CEO of Gavi, and without inviting anyone to respond. Also, it was essentially duplicitous as I wrote to the editor: in effect declaring anyone critical of the lobby or the products is by inference an "anti-vaxxer" (that crude) and therefore to be silenced. Moreover, it was synchronised - although not mentioned by him - with the beginning of a new vaccine lobby drive for compulsory vaccination in the UK. So it was an incredibly devious and dishonest performance on the part of all concerned.

cia parker


I agree that most Muslims are not violent. It's the 10% of the most devout, and almost 50% of those who support and approve of them, who are the problem.

And I think it's appalling that the social media are being used as methods of censorship of ideas, both ideas regarding vaccines and Islam. I do not agree with Seth Berkley, but I'd have to say that he has a right to express his ideas. His article on Spectator Health had hundreds of comments on it, many of them critical of vaccines, and I'll give them this, my comments on it were not mowed away en masse with Van's scythe the way they are from many American sites. And it's appalling that laws are being passed in several countries making the expression of unpopular ideas a criminal offense (Canada for one). I know they don't have a constitutional right to freedom of speech the way we do, but you'd think it would be a universal Enlightenment principle. When you have victims on both sides, as we do in these areas, it MUST be permitted that everyone express his opinions.

cia parker

The police officer in the video was polite, respectful, and kind. The kid did not have any weapon, so there was no way that the policeman would have shot him. The boy was not assaulted. His stim made it appear that he was using illegal drugs, and the policeman took appropriate steps to detain him and find out if he was or not. When he found out that he was autistic and that he was with an AWOL caregiver, he let him go. It would not be reasonable to expect the policeman to differentiate on the spot between a normal-looking kid who was doing drugs at a public park from a normal-looking kid who was just doing something which looked as though he were doing drugs. The police have to be jumpy, or die.

susan welch

Cia, I can only speak as I find.

Yes, Grace, I agree that truth about vaccines should be our priority.

I spend many hours on most days researching the truth about vaccines and the criminal cover-up of the injuries incurred. I spend literally no time worrying about safety in this, mostly peaceful, country.

John Stone


It is rather ironic that Mr Murray is an associate editor of the Spectator which recently gave space to Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, to call for "anti-vaccinationists" (ie anyone critical of the vaccine lobby agenda) to be banned from social media, so they seem to be into "bad people" scenarios. Realistically, I live in London which must now have a million Muslims, and most of them are excellent citizens, friendly, helpful, hard-working. OK, not everything is perfect on either side but we've managed community relations so much better than in Paris.

Meanwhile, I am profoundly glad the guns are only on the very margins of street life in the United Kingdom - the police always vote against them - particularly in relation to my children.

I know you were just answering Susan's question but obviously AoA is not the right place to open a wider discussion.

Grace Green

Cia, I can't believe you could make a comment like yours on a thread which is about a teenager being seriously assaulted by the police just because he's autistic. It's quite possible he could have been shot and killed. I think you've got the propaganda completely the wrong way round. The PTB are blowing any terrorism out of proportion to try to get us to accept curtailment of our freedoms, including some armed police. When you hear about violent events from half way round the world it may seen as if these are happening all the time, but Europe is a big place and these events are few and far between, In fact, to us over here it usually seems that the USA is an extremely dangerous place to live. I think we should all make the vaccine issue our main concern.

cia parker


You should read Douglas Murray's new book The Strange Death of Europe, or any of the many books by Bruce Bauer, Mark Steyn, Robert Spencer, William Kilpatrick, Bat Ye'or (especially her Eurabia), Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Pamela Geller, Serge Trifkovic, Raheem Kassam, and Michel Houellebecq (and many others). The attacks, robberies, rapes, murders, and harassment of gays, women, Jews, Christians, atheists, seculars, and others, are not isolated and rare, but have become a daily occurrence. Most of the attacks are foiled before they occur, at the cost of billions in taxpayer money, while the many which still occur cost billions more, plus the cost in lives and sense of identity and security. Most of the police force in Sweden, Belgium, and the Netherlands have said that they are thinking seriously about quitting their job, as it has become much too dangerous, with little support, inadequate personnel, and no solutions. Many already have quit. The rapes in Koln and many other German cities on New Year's Eve last year were covered up by both the police and the media until so many reports and videos of it had spread on the Internet that they were forced to admit the truth (sound familiar?). In May I talked to a young French woman who worked at a restaurant where I was eating if it was true what I had heard, that young women in Europe can no longer go out wearing short skirts. She said Short skirts? No, you can't go out like that anymore. is one of many websites bringing daily reports, many with onsite videos of the violence, to those concerned about the situation. The bobbies should be armed. You have to decide whether you'd rather have armed or helpless bobbies around at the time of attacks like those on London Bridge, Westminster, and Manchester. Which of the two sides would you be more afraid of? Which is more likely to protect your life if it is possible for anyone to do so?

I have a Mexican friend whose father went to Europe with his family to celebrate his eightieth birthday. I sent Oscar articles from the Internet the day of the Barcelona attacks. He wrote back MI PAPÁ ESTÁ EN MADRID! so he missed the slaughter in Barcelona, but then went to Paris, where he just missed another attack there. I have a friend whose daughter was studying translation in Brussels at the time of the Brussels attacks a year and a half ago, and her school went on lockdown. I had another friend whose daughter was en route to South Africa for a business meeting, who was going to lay over in Paris and spend the weekend there. She changed her plans when the Bataclan massacre occurred the day before she was due to arrive. And there have been countless more such attacks, and there will be many more. It's reached the point where ever more of us have personal links to them, which is their purpose.

This situation is parallel to that of the official propaganda promoting vaccines and covering up the damage which they so often cause. In both cases it's interesting to ferret out the reasons for the promotion of their doublespeak, and imperative to do so for the protection of our families a

susan welch

Cia. That's the first I've heard of Europe being 'so violent'. I live in the UK and can assure you that I am not living in any kind of fear. I assume they must be speaking of the dreadful, but isolated, terrorist attacks that have happened in some major European cities over the last few years.

I agree with John that, on the whole, our police are doing a great job.


@KateC - Perhaps part of the problem is that autism organizations have been reaching out to the police rather than the parents themselves. This is a problem that necessitates active community engagement at a local level. We cannot have "experts" leading the way on this issue, expecially considering what "experts" have done to cause our problems in the first place. We are the true experts on this, and we have pictures of our children, too. The police need to learn who, exactly, they have in their community so certain individuals are not perceived as a threat, if and when an immediate, appropriate response to a police command or order is not forthcoming. The police need to know that little John R., or even big John R., is 0% likely to be high on drugs, as he lacks the capacity to buy them, or be able to use them, or even know what they are.

cia parker

I think the officer behaved appropriately. I support increased education of public service agents in recognizing autism: this police officer had not received such training, and he did what he had been trained to do under these circumstances. The next question is why his caretaker was not near enough to intervene immediately, and this showed negligence on her part. We all have to realize what increasingly difficult situations police officers have to work in now. I saw a video of the kid at Georgia Tech who called 911 himself to report that there was a dangerous man with a gun (himself) in such and such location. The police came and spoke calmingly to him, telling him to put down the knife in his hand (and possible gun, as per the report), but the kid shouted Shoot me! Shoot me! The officer continued to speak calmingly to him, but the kid came at him with the knife and the policeman shot and killed him. Next day there were the familiar demonstrations of protest at the killing of this gay man. But was he shot because he was gay (a fact unknown to the policeman) or because he had engineered his own suicide by cop? Another video I saw had a black policeman walking next to a suspicious man with his hand in his pocket, saying Take your hand out of your pocket! The man refused to do so and just kept walking. The policeman repeated his order, and finally the man pulled a gun out of his pocket and shot the police officer, who stumbled back to his car and called for help, saying to please tell his family that he loved them. Last week there were riots in St. Louis by people angry at a court ruling: a police officer who shot and killed a man when he is believed by many to have pulled a gun from behind the driver's seat of his car in 2011 was finally tried. The judge found that there was not enough evidence to convict him of murder. The activist group had warned that if the court did not reach the verdict they wanted, they would riot. And they did. Tore up the public library.

We're losing the rule of law, the stability of a well-ordered society. It scares me when I read about the thousands of incidents of violence occurring on a daily basis now in Europe and Mexico (etc.). We're planning to go to Mexico next summer, and I was surprised to find that the State Department has issued warnings to Americans that Europe and Mexico are both so violent (Mexico City is still considered fairly safe), that we should consider not going there. We need to support the police: on the whole, they are hard-working, decent, well-meaning, and trying to act appropriately for our protection. No one and nothing is perfect, but we need to recognize the value of what we have before we lose it. In this case, nothing happened. The caretaker was remiss, a boy with so little self-control and competence should not have been that far from supervision. The police officer used appropriate restraint, and I'm glad he didn't just turn a blind eye to what appeared to be a drug user in a public park.


The teen is lucky to be alive.

John Stone

My impression is that the police are much improved in the UK. There were some terrible incidents, but now encountering autistic people is so everyday and I suspect that mostly they negotiate these things sensibly. Our police, of course, do not routinely carry guns.

Grace Green

I hate to say it, but this is the sort of thing the "neuro-diverse" brigade are meaning when they say they want to be accepted as they are, and understood. Why should we have to educate severely disabled children so that they can be identical to the totally normal? I recently read on the news of a man who was killed by the police because he was DEAF! You can't educate a deaf person to lip read from the back of his head! I don't believe that in the UK people are required to comply with any orders from the police - I may be wrong. But certainly our police are not so paranoid as to misinterpret every movement as threatening. Maybe that's the downside of being allowed to bear arms. Even at my level of disability I have had experiences of telling officials that I'm autistic and absolutely no allowance being made. I've even been told it's irrelevant! I think we should band together with the NDs and try to make some progress on this.

Sun~Rose please go look!

Children can learn anything

•Parents are the best teachers

•Children start learning at birth or earlier

•Genius and ability can be stimulated and enhanced

•Drug-free solutions are best when children need help

•Children with neurological problems can be helped


Asking this, I think again: Have those parents here with severely affected kids -- or just moderate -- looking into What they taught us got our daughter 90% better, and sometimes 100%. Please go look or talk with them.

It's been decades since We learned from them. There must be so much more now which they've come up with. Gosh they were good- brilliant.

Kate C

Autism organizations have been training the police for over a decade. They just don't get it. Just last year in my community four police officers were released because they had a secret facebook group that made fun of people with disabilities. I believe actions like this result from the tough guy mindset prevalent in police forces. Senior police officers need to confront and eliminate the mindset. Only then will our kids be safe from the police.

Not an MD

I think it is very important that parents of children with autism reach out to their local police departments so that they know that there are non-verbal, stimming children and young adults out there who do not have the ability to comply with their demands. I am afraid that some, even those with "merely" an auditory processing delay will be unnecessarily tasered or shot. There is a huge difference between drunken and drugged behavior and autistic behavior, but it might not be immediately apparent to an uneducated individual-- police officer, or not. Training should be mandatory. At the very least, "stimming" should be a buzz word at police departments. They should all be aware of what it is and what it looks like. Perhaps we should make a video of the different types of stimming for the police and share it with police departments. We need a way to let them know about this, as there will be an ever increasing number of adults with autism that police officers will most certainly encounter. Stimming should not be a potential death sentence for children with autism. Not on our watch.

bob moffit

As a retired NYC Police Department sergeant .. with 24 years of service .. I am always torn after having experienced first-hand the immediate threat when a "suspect" refuses to comply with the officers commands .. and .. what I know as the proud grandfather of a loveable .. soon to be 18 year old .. non-verbal boy .. who on first seeing him would look completely normal .. and .. by his size .. 6'1 .. 230 lbs .. HIS immediate "failure to comply" .. could easily be mistaken by an untrained police officer .. as a potential threat.

TRAINING is IMPERATIVE throughout the country .. as the vast majority of autistics .. tens if not hundreds of thousands .. such as the one in this incident .. ARE non-verbal .. who cannot speak .. therefore are not going to respond as others are expected to do.

In any event .. this scenario is a nightmare that all parents and grandparents of an autistic child .. adolescent .. adult .. can easily relate happening to their loved one.

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