Police in the United Kingdom arrested a crying autistic girl who allegedly said an officer looked like her “lesbian nana.”
Around 1 a.m. on Aug. 7, West Yorkshire Police brought the teenager home after a relative informed authorities that the girl was “intoxicated in the city center.” After the teen was transported home, the autistic girl allegedly told a police officer that she looked like her “lesbian nana.”
“Upon returning her to the address, comments were made which resulted in the girl being arrested on suspicion of a homophobic public order offense. The nature of the comments made was fully captured on body-worn video,” police stated.
Video uploaded to TikTok by the girl’s mother shows seven police officers at the family’s home in Leeds.
The offended officer is heard on video saying, “She’s getting arrested.”
The mother explained that her daughter is autistic.
The officer responded, “I don’t care.”
The girl is seen hiding in a nook. As people are shouting, the 16-year-old begins hitting herself in the head in “distress.”
The mother said that her daughter’s “nana” is a lesbian who is married to another woman.
“She’s not homophobic,” the mom said of her daughter. “Go away from my teenage daughter.”
The mother asked the police to leave, then said, “There’s something wrong with you.”
The teen begins crying and screaming as police officers get near her.
While officers are arresting the girl, she drops to the ground. The mother said her daughter had a panic attack after police allegedly “manhandled” the teen.
The girl was later interviewed and then released on bail.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said the teen was arrested on suspicion of a homophobic public order offense.
“West Yorkshire Police takes its responsibilities around the welfare of young people taken into custody and around neurodiversity very seriously,” said West Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Oz Khan, according to the BBC.
“We also maintain that our officers and staff should not have to face abuse while working to keep our communities safe,” the spokesperson added.
“We are fully reviewing the circumstances of this incident and ask that people avoid reaching any conclusions about it solely on the basis of the social media video,” Khan said. “Officers had their body-worn video cameras activated during their wider involvement with this young girl which provides additional context to their actions.”
Khan continued, “West Yorkshire Police takes its responsibilities around the welfare of young people taken into custody and around neurodiversity very seriously.”
On Friday, the West Yorkshire Police Department said it had “now reviewed the evidence and made the decision to take no further action” against the autistic teen.
“This concludes the criminal investigation and immediately releases the girl from her bail. Her family has been updated,” the statement read.
The U.K. police department said it “will take on board any lessons to be learned from this incident.”
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