Footage was recently released showing an altercation that a police officer working at a North Carolina school had with a 7-year-old autistic boy. The video shows the young boy being handcuffed and threatened by the police officer for about 40 minutes as other members of the staff looked on.
The young boy’s mother is now suing the state, the school district, and the officer for negligence, emotional distress, and violating the Constitution. The incident took place in September of 2018 at the Pressly School in Statesville, North Carolina, but the video is just now being released as a result of the family’s lawsuit.
School Resource Officer Michael Fattaleh was called to a classroom where the young boy was getting in trouble for spitting. Body camera footage shows Fattaleh arriving in the room where two staff members are restraining the young boy by his arms. Fattaleh immediately grabbed the child and placed him into handcuffs and then forced him to lay face down on the ground and interrogated him like he was an adult criminal.
“He’s mine now,” the officer said before launching threats at the young boy.
“Don’t move. You spit on me, I’ll put a hood on you,” he threatened.
At one point the officer told the boy that he was “fixing” to be charged with a crime.
“I’m not playing that game. I don’t do the spitting. I don’t mind the walking. I don’t mind the occasional shove. But you don’t spit here. He’s going to get charged. If you, my friend, are not acquainted with the juvenile justice system, you will be very shortly. You ever been charged with a crime before? Well, you’re fixing to be,” Fattaleh said.
The staff members did absolutely nothing to help the young boy, and allowed the officer to tramatize him without question. Nobody questioned the officer’s actions until the boy’s mother showed up.
The mother asked him, “How can you charge a special needs kid with a count of assault?”
The boy’s mother told them that he has autism as well as separation anxiety and explained that his episode was likely triggered by a busy day at school.
The officer has since resigned from his post at the school, and the boy’s mother has taken him out of the school and quit her job so she can teach him at home. Fattahel faced no consequences for his attack on the young boy. His attorney Ashley Cannon told the Charlotte Observer that the state’s Bureau of Investigation conducted an independent review of the incident, and concluded that Fattahel did nothing wrong, which is a typical ruling regardless of how severe an officer’s transgression is.
Last month, The Mind Unleashed reported that a 13-year-old autistic boy was shot 11 times by a Salt Lake City police officer because he ran away from a group of cops that came to his door because his mother was having difficulty with him. One of the officers on the scene expressed that the situation was none of their business, but the other officers decided to intervene anyway.