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The Eustis Police Department in Florida is under fire after bodycam footage was released showing officers tasing a Black man with severe autism.
As reported by Yahoo, family members say Louis Grahai has the “mental capacity of a 4-year-old.” He is unable to speak and wears diapers.
Here’s more from the report:
The incident stemmed from a 911 call made to Eustis Police on Saturday about a possible home burglary. The caller said that a man, who she did not know, approached her house, and officers later found Louis Grahai wandering around the neighborhood barefoot. After allegedly giving him multiple commands, two officers are seen in bodycam footage tasing the man until he falls to the ground.
“Get on your stomach!” one officer yells. “I don’t want to do it again!”
“Hands behind your back. Put your hands behind your back!” the other cop screams.
Watch the moment via the YouTube clip below.
Grahai is tased once again as he appears to not comprehend what the officers are saying.
Grahai’s family reportedly rushed to the scene and found him pinned on the ground by the officers and bleeding from his ear.
“Everybody loves Lou. He’s lovable, everybody knows he ain’t going to hurt nobody,” his mother, Roberta Crew, told local news station WESH 2.
Grahai reportedly suffered neck and ear damage and was fitted with a neck brace prior to his release from the hospital.
“If he didn’t [go] down when you tell him to, what is the next thing you’re going to do? Shoot him. That’s my worst nightmare,” she said.
Eustis Police Chief Craig Capri said “De-escalation was used here, based on the knowledge [officers] had at the time,” he told NBC Orlando.
“Had [they] known this was a severely autistic person, I doubt any force would have been used. I think they did everything right. It could have been a lot worse—thank God it wasn’t.”
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