A Topeka police auditor determined an officer abided by department policy, but used concerning judgment last month when he cursed at an autistic child, pepper sprayed the child’s dog, and handcuffed and threw the child to the ground, breaking the child’s wrist.
Topeka’s independent police auditor issued a 16-page report on the September confrontation between the officer and the child.
The report provides a play-by-play of the brief encounter from the view of the officer, the boy, and body camera video.
It makes no mention of the child’s autism.
The Reflector reports that body camera video shows the officer cursing at the 14-year-old boy.
The officer confronted the child for the crime of “walking on the street”, and was justified in using force, the auditor concluded, because the boy resisted arrest, and the officer perceived dogs and bystanders to be potential threats.
The auditor recommended command staff take a closer review of the case, and the officer get a refresher in de-escalation training.
The boy was ticketed for two misdemeanors – “pedestrian in roadway” and “interference with law enforcement.”