Jonesville Police Chief Brian Corbett has resigned after hitting 8-year-old Eli Kolodie with a baton after the autistic boy ran away from school:
Corbett was put on paid administrative leave in March as State Police investigated a mother's complaint he used excessive force on her 8-year-old son, who has autism. As we reported in March, the child took off from his school's playground and was put in handcuffs and hit with a baton after the Police Chief caught up with him. At the time, Corbett did not know the boy had autism and told us he would've reacted differently had he known.
After hearing about the chief's resignation, the boy's mother says it has helped to bring some closure to what happened to her son.
"I think it's a really good indicator to the rest of his team that this is not tolerated, that grown men are not allowed to hit children," said Kristen Kolodie.
British Transport Police are looking for information about an attack on an autistic man who was riding a train:
Investigating officer PC Kristene Mikkonen said: “The victim, a 37-year-old man from Tyne and Wear, who suffers from autism, was travelling on the train with his carer, he was in the aisle when he was barged out of the way by two men who then verbally abused him before kicking his legs.
“The victim has grazed legs following the incident, and although not seriously injured, he has been left extremely distressed and upset following the incident.
This is YouTube's response to someone leaving death threats on one of my videos:
We’re unable to identify a violation of our Community Guidelines within your recent report to our Safety and Abuse Tool.
Because his family is afraid that he is not safe for his younger brother to be around, and because a more appropriate placement has not been found, autistic teenager Taylor McNee has been living in a Canadian hospital room for five months:
The hospital says Taylor needs to leave, since he no longer needs medical care. But his mother says it's not safe for him to come home and that he risks injuring his younger brother, Ethan, who also has a genetic developmental disorder.
"He knocked him with a 6-pack of pop one time -- just knocked him in the head with it. Not that it was terribly hard, but we are just fearful that he is going to end up doing something that will cause some sort permanent damage," says Taylor's mother Beth Edwards.
"The fact that he targets Ethan scares me because Taylor is much bigger," she adds. "Taylor is the size of a man. He's 5'7", 160 pounds and Ethan is 60 lbs, so… it can be quite harmful for Ethan if he gets pushed or shoved or punched or anything like that."
Taylor could go to a group home for other adults and teens with autism, but there are few that would be appropriate for Taylor. Some are suited to those who are more independent and who have fewer needs. The ones that would be a good match for Taylor have wait lists that are months long with no opening in sight.
This is the story that breaks my heart.
We've got to make a place, not just for Taylor to go, but for him to learn and be valued.
We cannot throw him away, and we cannot let his brother be hurt and we cannot blame his mother for being placed placed between them. We cannot blame a hospital that does not have staff or room.
We've got to make change.
The Cook Country State Attorney's office cleared the two police officers who shot and killed autistic teenager Stephon Watts of any wrongdoing after reviewing an independent investigation by the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force. Police say that the use of force was necessary because Stephon lunged at them with a nine-inch steak knife:
The family disputed that. They said the teen was just holding a butter knife and that deadly force wasn't necessary. Watts' mother, Danelene Watts, said the knife her son was holding didn't at all resemble the knife shown in a photo released Tuesday by Calumet City police.
"My husband knows. I know. His brother knows what kind of knife it was. We were there," she said. "My son has been murdered by trained police officers. ... A great injustice was done to my baby."
Stephon's sister Renee contacted me-- she is especially interested in hearing from other autistic people who have suffered violence at the hands of police and from their families. Her family has set up a site for him here.