Brampton mother claims son, who is on autism spectrum, was unarmed when tasered by Peel police
Like any mother, Maureen Bailey-Lee is worried about the basics such as warm hands. But she also has bigger concerns for her 21 year old son, Marlon, who is on the autism spectrum. He has been released from hospital after being tasered by Peel police.
“The police said they tasered him twice, standing, when he did not obey commands,” said Bailey-Lee.
Then they forced Marlon onto the floor inside his group home.
“While Marlon is on the ground in the kitchen they taser him a third time in his back,” she added.
It all started over a McDonald’s paper cup. Marlon is obsessive compulsive and when a worker at the home took the free coffee sticker off the cup, he wanted it put back on.
A tussle over the sticker ensued and police were called.
Marlon was alone, unarmed in the corner of the kitchen, when three police officers faced him, according to what Bailey-Lee said she was told by officers at the hospital where Marlon was sent.
She was also told that Marlon was in an “aggressive stance.”
“And when I inquired, ‘What was an aggressive stance?,’ it was the fists, like this,” Bailey-Lee said while gesturing with her hands in front of her chest.
The gesture looks the same as Marlon saying he’s sorry. He is non-verbal and uses sign language to communicate. After being tasered, he was hospitalized.
“Based upon the effects of three rounds of taser he required blood pressure medications for high blood pressure,” noted Bailey-Lee, who also pointed out Marlon suffers from a heart condition.
Peel Regional Police initially agreed to an interview with Global News.
However, they backed out saying they were just notified that Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, is probing the incident.
Specific training for vulnerable people is becoming more common among front-line emergency agencies.
“It’s really important that they are trained in different communication strategies and different de-escalation techniques,” said Katharine Buchan, with Autism Ontario.
She said people on the autism spectrum are seven times more likely to interact with law enforcement, whether as a witness, an offender or a victim.
Marlon’s mother argued he became a victim of police.
“My son was neither served or protected,” she said.
Bailey-Lee said she wants some kind of disciplinary action brought against the officers involved to ensure other people with autism are not put through what Marlon has been through.
“They have to be made accountable.”
© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.