A viral video from the U.K. shows a large group of police officers dragging an autistic girl from her home before placing her under arrest for “homophobic remarks.”
The West Yorkshire police later confirmed the arrest in a public statement, informing the public that the teenage girl was placed under arrest for telling a policewoman that she looked like her “lesbian grandmother.” This constitutes a “homophobic public order offense,” which is punishable by fines and potential prison time.
A viral video of the incident shows at least a dozen police officers entering the home while the girl’s mother pleaded with them. “She’s made a comment in her own house, she hasn’t said anything to you,” the girl’s mother can be heard saying. “It doesn’t matter… she’s gettin’ arrested,” a female officer said in response. “She is getting arrested, I’ve got units coming. Don’t worry,” she continued.
The girl’s mother informed the officers that her daughter was autistic and was punching herself in the head over distress caused by the situation. At one point, the girl’s mother pleaded with the female officer to stop looking at her as the officer delivered a menacing glare.
“She’s autistic and you don’t care,” the girl’s mother can be heard saying. “I don’t care, she’s getting arrested. I’ve got units on the way,” the officer fired back once again.
The officers then dragged the screaming girl out of the home and placed her under arrest. Once outside, a group of male officers continued to drag the girl away while the female officer stood by with her arms folded.
A caption on the video — which was initially posted on TikTok — stated that the girl had scoliosis, which would be aggravated by the way officers were dragging her.
The West Yorkshire Police Department later confirmed the arrest and defended the conduct of their officers in a statement. “We are aware of a video circulating on social media which, as is often the case, only provides a very limited snapshot of the circumstances of this incident,” reads the statement.
“Officers had their body-worn video cameras activated during their wider involvement with this young girl which provides additional context to their actions. We have received a complaint in relation to this incident which is currently being assessed by West Yorkshire Professional Standards Directorate.”