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  1. #1
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    IL - Calumet City police shoot, kill 15-year-old boy with Asperger's Syndrome

    Family Furious After Calumet City Police Shoot, Kill Boy With Autism (chicago.cbslocal.com)
    CALUMET CITY, Ill. (CBS) — Police in Calumet City were defending their actions Wednesday after officers shot and killed a 15-year-old boy, who has a form of autism, after he threatened them with a knife.
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    As CBS 2′s Susanna Song and WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller report, they claimed the boy was only holding a butter knife.
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    What the police say:
    Calumet City Police Chief Edward Gilmore said the boy cut a police officer through his shirt sleeve with a “kitchen knife.”

    “I think they did everything they possibly could to avoid this,” Gilmore said. “It’s unfortunate that we had to get to this situation.”
    ---
    What the family wants to know:
    “They didn’t have to murder him. This is nothing but murder and they shoot to kill,” [Stephon’s mother, Danelene] Powell-Watts said. “He had a butter knife and … my husband said that he lunged at the police officer.”

    Stephon’s uncle said police had subdued his nephew with stun guns before.

    “They didn’t have to shoot him. They could have tasered the child. He’s only 15 years old,” Wayne Watts said.
    ---
    more at link above
    Last edited by nursebeeme; 02-02-2012 at 10:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Oh my gosh. I'm so upset! Having meltdowns is a huge problem with Asperger's, but there are ways to distract them and defuse the situation! And a taser would be a very good idea because once a person with AS has rec'd behavior therapy (which is a negative result to their actions) they are more apt to never EVER do it again than most people!

    When my son was young, I actually educated LE in my area on how to deal with kids with AS and they all were so receptive to the help. This just makes me cry. It was completely unnecessary to kill this child.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimster View Post
    Oh my gosh. I'm so upset! Having meltdowns is a huge problem with Asperger's, but there are ways to distract them and defuse the situation! And a taser would be a very good idea because once a person with AS has rec'd behavior therapy (which is a negative result to their actions) they are more apt to never EVER do it again than most people!

    When my son was young, I actually educated LE in my area on how to deal with kids with AS and they all were so receptive to the help. This just makes me cry. It was completely unnecessary to kill this child.
    My heart hurts for this young man and his family. Lethal force was not warranted to take down a 15y/o with a freakin' butter knife!

  4. #4
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    The thing is, CCPD had dealt with this child before, and should have known to send officers capable of an appropriate response; but they didn't.

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    Let's check out local news:

    Autistic Teen Fatally Shot by Police in Calumet City Home

    teen apparently lunged at police officers with a butter knife and his face partially covered in the home in the 500 block of Forsythe, the boy’s mother said. Police shot the boy twice, fatally wounding him.

    ... father was trying to get his son off the computer to go to school when the boy got angry and out of hand, his mother said.
    ~ krimekat ~
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  7. #7
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    My greatest fear! I have an asperger' syndrome grandson.
    He is so smart but doesn't "get it" in our world.
    These children have 'meltdowns' and can be handled with
    understanding their situation.
    My guy gets very depressed, he knows he is different.
    Kyron, HALEIGH, ADJI & Gabriel NEEDS PRAYERS NOW TO FIND THEM!. Zahra & Jonathan in heaven
    Justice for Hailey!!!!
    No Justice for Caylee Marie..........

  8. #8
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    Teen with autism shot to death by police

    ... [LE] had been called to subdue Stephon Watts 10 times in less than two years, using Tasers at least once on the 15-year-old with Asperger's syndrome.

    ... called again to the teen's home, where two officers found Watts in his basement wielding a kitchen knife. Watts "lashed out" with the knife and struck one of the officers in the forearm, said police Chief Edward Gilmore.

    "At that time, cornered and having no way to retreat back up the stairs, the officers fired one shot each, striking the (boy) twice," Gilmore said. "Unfortunately, the officer thought that his life was in jeopardy."


    I don't even know what to say

    Prayers for Stephon's family & for LE involved . . .
    ~ krimekat ~
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by passionflower View Post
    My greatest fear! I have an asperger' syndrome grandson.
    He is so smart but doesn't "get it" in our world.
    These children have 'meltdowns' and can be handled with
    understanding their situation.
    My guy gets very depressed, he knows he is different.
    aw, let him know we are all different! And praise his differences. My favorite cousin has A-syndrome & he's the BEST! You just have to be aware for him . . .
    Love being different!

    But how to contain the violence? Why not shoot in the leg? Butter knife v gun -- you have the upper hand. But I respect the badge!

    I am torn
    ~ krimekat ~
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    The thing is, CCPD had dealt with this child before, and should have known to send officers capable of an appropriate response; but they didn't.
    Did the article mention LE did not know of this family's situation? I know Calumet City & surrounding around, so I cannot believe LE was unaware of these issues IF (and that's a big fat IF) they've been called over a dozen times over 2 yrs.

    What is protocol?

    sad sad sad
    ~ krimekat ~
    Live in Peace & Peace will live in you

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  11. #11
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    My 8 yr old daughter has AS, and this article scares me to death!

    I already worry about her depression, desire to self-harm and "to be punished" for not being perfect. I worry about her "rubbing people the wrong way" because she corrects people all the time--not because she thinks she is superior but because it's basically a GUT reaction--facts have to be stated correctly.

    She is sensitive, compassionate, socially aware and responsible--she wants to save the world! But on the other side is an intellectual that doesn't know how to convey the emotional side. She does know she is different as well and wants desperately to make people like her but doesn't grasp how to communicate.

    I tell her that it's cool to be weird--it's better than being "normal" and boring because you're just like everyone else. I try to tell her that she comes by weird naturally--but I'm scared to death.

    I thought I only had to worry about her hurting herself--now I read this....deep breaths.....
    HOPING I CAN HELP
    but, what if .... ?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by krimekat View Post
    Did the article mention LE did not know of this family's situation? I know Calumet City & surrounding around, so I cannot believe LE was unaware of these issues IF (and that's a big fat IF) they've been called over a dozen times over 2 yrs.

    What is protocol?

    sad sad sad
    The initial article I saw (linked in the first post above) quoted the police chief to the effect they'd been called there 10 times before. So they knew. And yet.....
    Gilmore said a stun gun wasn’t used because the lead officer did not have a stun gun.
    So one wonders why a lead officer going to deal with a known issue - which, according to the dead boy's family, had been handled by use of a taser before - carried only a lethal weapon.

    Being a cop is hard stuff - lots of respect for the good ones. Why this took place is something that needs to be found out.

  13. #13
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    I too have an Asperger's grandson and this article also scares me. My daughter has worked with police departments in her area, teaching them how to deal with mental illness. Unfortunately, the lesson is not always heeded, it seems.

  14. #14
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    Channel 7 news said a butcher knife. I do not think a butter knife would cut through a cloth sleeve. Nay be more to the story than a butter knife KWIM

  15. #15
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    This story...and the stories of some of our posters...hurts my heart. Autism Spectrum Disorders are one of my main areas of study.

    I am going to find out how much training our local LE are given for dealing with situations such as this one, and I'll advocate for that training if it is insufficient. That won't save this child (or who knows how many others like him), but hopefully it will help prevent other tragedies.

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