LIVONIA, Mich. (WXYZ) - A Livonia mother is lashing out at police, criticizing them for the way they treated her severely autistic 11-year-old son.
Julia, who asked that we not use her last name, showed Action News police dashcam video of her son, Victor, in a patrol car May 2nd. The 11-year-old was taken into custody after running away from Riley Middle School.
The video shows the 11-year-old handcuffed in the back seat of the squad car hysterical – screaming and banging his head against the window.
Over the course of several minutes police ignore Victor, but then come back to the car and put a seatbelt on him to stop him from smashing his head against the glass.
Livonia Police would not go on camera with us but said off camera that officers did what they were trained to do when they have custody of someone with a mental disability. For example, the officers say they repeatedly told Victor that they were trying to find his mother in the hopes that a "familiar" would calm him down.
And as for why he was handcuffed, according to the police report Victor was kicking as officers tried to restrain him. They say he almost ran into traffic on 5 Mile near his school.
Victor's mother says police treated her son like a criminal.
"I was so traumatized when I saw the video. I don't believe they had the proper training to deal with severe autism," Julia said.
Julia says her son ran away from school last week because of sensory overload, a symptom of his condition.
In the police report school officials questioned whether Julia was properly medicating her son. Julia told Action News she has not made any major changes to his treatment.