Minn. Teen With Autism Suffered Seizure After Police Slammed Him to the Ground: Report

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Marcus Abrams is shown after an incident with police. Abrams, who has autism, says police slammed him to the ground, causing him to suffer a seizure. He was not charged with a crime.
KARE 11 screenshot
Marcus Abrams is shown after an incident with police. Abrams, who has autism, says police slammed him to the ground, causing him to suffer a seizure. He was not charged with a crime.
KARE 11 screenshot

On Monday, Marcus Abrams, 17, had just left his job at the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul and was standing on a subway platform with two friends when, he says, Metro Transit Police officers approached him.

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Abrams, who has autism, told KARE 11 that he was wearing his headphones and couldn't hear everything that the officers were asking, but he did note that they accused him of being intoxicated.

Then, he says, things turned violent.

"One grabbed my arm and the other one grabbed my wrist, and I told them to get off me—I did nothing wrong," Abrams told KARE 11. "They just slammed me right on the ground. I tried to get them off me, and [one officer had his] whole body on my whole face and I couldn't breathe."

During the altercation, Abrams suffered a seizure and was taken to a local hospital, KARE 11 reported.

"I don't want autism to be a crime, I don't want people that have it to think that it is a crime. I don't want people going around saying, 'Oh well, if your child is this way, they shouldn't be out here by themselves,' " Abrams' mother, Maria Caldwell, told the news station. "He was put in a situation where he was stressed out, a lot of pressure and confused. And I think that is what brought on his seizures."

Howie Padilla, a spokesman for Metro Transit, told the news station that the incident is being reviewed to find out if "department standard policy and procedures were followed."

"One of the things we will be reviewing is what did the officer see. What were the mannerisms?" Padilla told KARE 11. "Our officers, in general, are trained to control the situation and ensure not only their safety but to anyone else that is around."

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The news station notes that Abrams was not charged in the incident.

Read more at KARE 11.

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