Monday, September 15, 2014
A Facebook video posted by Daniel Thews on Saturday, Sept. 13 (since removed or with changed privacy settings) has been shared more than 850 times from Thews's open page, most likely because it allegedly shows two Tucson Police Department officers tackle and cuff two autistic boys or young men to the ground in the Peter Piper Pizza parking lot off Broadway Boulevard across the street from Park Place Mall.
We called Sgt. Chris Widmer, TPD public information officer, who told us he and others in his department had just seen the video and had no comment until they understood the context of what was taking place. We've filed a public records request, and Widmer said he's get back to us when they had additional information on exactly what took place.
While in the autism community, it is understood that TPD officers have taken a training on how to work with autistic children—many kids on the spectrum, high or low, have difficulty in public and sometimes run off. Having a police force that knows how to work with kids on the spectrum has always been a concern to parents and caretakers of autistic children to make sure their safety is understood and cared for.
We're waiting to hear back from Thews to better understand what he saw and why he was compelled to videotape what took place. But here's what he said on his thread: