Seven officers drag autistic girl from her home for 'hate crime' after she told cop 'you look like my lesbian nana'

10 August 2023, 14:44 | Updated: 11 August 2023, 16:23

Seven police officers accused of dragging 'autistic girl, 16, out of her home for 'hate crime' after she told female cop 'you look like my lesbian nana'
Seven police officers accused of dragging 'autistic girl, 16, out of her home for 'hate crime' after she told female cop 'you look like my lesbian nana'. Picture: social media

By StephenRigley

This is the moment a teenage girl with autism was dragged kicking and screaming from her home and detained by seven cops after "saying a female officer looked like her nana, who is a lesbian".

A police force has been accused of heavy handedness after the incident involving West Yorkshire police in Leeds.

The 16-year-old, who also suffers from scoliosis, had been driven to her home by officers after midnight when she allegedly made the comment.

She was later dragged away screaming in the early hours of Monday morning over the "homophobic public order offence".

Posting the incident on TikTok, the mother said: "This is what police do when dealing with autistic children. My daughter told me the police officer looked like her nana, who is a lesbian.

"The officer took it the wrong way and said it was a homophobic comment (it wasn't).

"The officer then entered my home.

"My daughter was having panic attacks from being touched by them and they still continued to manhandle her.'

The girl was dragged from her home in Leeds by a group of officers after a 'homophobic public order offence'
The girl was dragged from her home in Leeds by a group of officers after a 'homophobic public order offence'. Picture: social media
The girl cowered in a corner of the hallway as her mother insisted she was autistic and had not meant to offend the officer
The girl cowered in a corner of the hallway as her mother insisted she was autistic and had not meant to offend the officer. Picture: social media
The female officer said the girl would be arrested after she 'said she looked like her lesbian nana'
The female officer said the girl would be arrested after she 'said she looked like her lesbian nana'. Picture: social media
The male officer said a homophobic comment had been made to his colleague
The male officer said a homophobic comment had been made to his colleague. Picture: social media

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In the footage, two officers can be seen in the hallway of the family's home, while the girl hides in a corner next to a cupboard.

The female officer in question, who has short blonde hair, can be heard insisting "she [the girl] is going to be arrested".

The girl's mother says: "She's made a comment in her own house, she hasn't said anything to you."

The mother repeats "she's autistic", to which the officer responds "I don't care".

The girl then makes some noises which the mother claims was her punching herself in distress.

The officers remain in the hallway as the mother shouts out: "You're going to remove her for what, she said the word lesbian? Her nana is a lesbian, she's married to a woman. She's not homophobic."

A male officer intervenes, saying a homophobic comment has been made to his colleague. More officers eventually arrive and the girl screams and wails as she is taken away.

In response, West Yorkshire Police said a relative of the girl had earlier called to say she was intoxicated in Leeds city centre.

West Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Oz Khan said: "We are aware of a video circulating on social media which, as is often the case, only provides a very limited snapshot of the circumstances of this incident.

"Officers had their body-worn video cameras activated during their wider involvement with this young girl which provides additional context to their actions.

"We have received a complaint in relation to this incident which is currently being assessed by West Yorkshire Professional Standards Directorate.

"While that ongoing process and the active criminal investigation limit our ability to fully discuss the incident in detail, we feel it is important for people to have some context about the circumstances.

"From 12.12am on Monday, August 7, police received calls from a family member of a 16-year-old girl who was reportedly intoxicated and putting herself at risk in Leeds city centre.

"Officers attended at about 1am and drove the teenager to her home so she could be appropriately looked after.

"Upon returning her to the address, comments were made which resulted in the girl being arrested on suspicion of a homophobic public order offence. The nature of the comments made was fully captured on body-worn video.

"When the girl was eventually fit to be interviewed, that interview took place with an appropriate adult.

"She was later released on bail pending further enquiries and advice from the Crown Prosecution Service.

"West Yorkshire Police takes its responsibilities around the welfare of young people taken into custody and around neurodiversity very seriously.

"We also maintain that our officers and staff should not have to face abuse while working to keep our communities safe.

"We are fully reviewing the circumstances of this incident and ask that people avoid reaching any conclusions about it solely on the basis of the social media video."

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