Bodycam Footage - Graham Police Use Stun gun on Autistic Teen

Bodycam Footage - Graham Police Use Stun gun on Autistic Teen

Graham, NC - Two Graham police officers are under investigation after handcuffing and using a stun gun on a teenager with autism last week, according to a Facebook post by the Graham Police Department.

The 19-year-old's mother — who said she watched body camera footage of the incident twice — says police have omitted some information about what happened.

The incident started when officers were dispatched to an alley in the 900 block of Texas regarding a man — identified as Michael Moore by family members — who was reportedly throwing rocks at a house on June 26. The caller described the man as “not all there,” but that information was not passed onto the responding officer and his ride-along passenger — an off-duty jailer with the county, police said.

When the officer began talking to Moore, he thought Moore might be under the influence and started a field sobriety test, police said.

Moore was sweating, breathing heavily, having difficulties focusing and acting paranoid, police said. His mom said it's difficult for him to communicate or make eye contact. A second officer arrived during the field sobriety test. Moore wasn’t able to complete the test and because of his “erratic movements, behavior and statements,” one officer cuffed him.

Police said that as the officer applied the first cuff, Moore pulled away, backed into the second officer and all three of them fell to the ground. Moore, with one cuff on his wrist and the other one dangling, “was resisting officers and the officers feared the loose cuff could injure any one of them,” so one of the officers used his stun gun on Moore twice.

Each stun lasted about five seconds, police said.

Moore's mom, Tracie Moore, said the video clearly shows her son was "put into a choke hold" and that's when the three of them fell. She said there's a broken vessel in his right eye and scratches on his body.

Moore calmed down, police said, and then directed them to where he lived.

However, Tracie Moore said the video shows that her son immediately told police he lived at the house near them, and asked to get his mother multiple times.

"The video shows Michael at the corner of our house and when he sees the officers, he walks to the officers," she told the Star-Telegram on Tuesday. "They proceed to ask him questions, his age, date of birth and where he lived. He stated within the first two minutes of that conversation, 'I live here,' pointing to our house. 'My mama is inside let me get my mom.' "

Tracie Moore says she didn't learn a stun gun was used on her son until the next day.

"They ask him to put his hands behind his back, once again he turns and points to the house and says, 'I live here, can I get my mama?' " she said. "They grab his arm, put a choke hold on him and throw him to the ground. At that point, the body cameras fall off and all you can see is sky but you can still hear the audio. The first time I saw the video, it was at that point the officer told me, 'This is where they stunned him twice.' Up until that point, we had no knowledge of the use of a stun gun."

Asked what her response was to learning that information, she said initially, shock.

"Then I started to get angry. Very angry," she said. "Pure rage. When they told me, it was disbelief that this could possibly happen to my son, by people we told him his whole life that were there to protect him if he was in trouble. For this to happen, it destroys all of that."

Until last week, Moore had only ever had positive contacts with police at school or during his participation in the Special Olympics.

Tracie Moore has met with police four times since the incident, and the Texas Rangers are conducting an investigation into what happened, at the request of the Graham Police Department.

"I want Michael to get justice," Tracie Moore said. "Whatever that may be."

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Tags: wtf, other news

Location: North Carolina, USA

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