Home / Badge Abuse / Because they Lack Crucial Training, These Cops Severely Beat a Blind Autistic Teen Unconscious

Because they Lack Crucial Training, These Cops Severely Beat a Blind Autistic Teen Unconscious

St. Paul, MN – The family of an autistic teen is speaking out after he was violently arrested, and rendered unconscious by Metro Transit Police while traveling home after working at the Minnesota State Fair. Marcus Abrams is an apprentice with Urban Boatbuilders, a youth organization, and had been exhibiting his work at the Minnesota State Fair. On his way home, an encounter with the police left the teen beaten and unconscious.

During the incident, Abrams, 17, suffered two seizures after police used force against him at the Green Line’s Lexington Parkway Station. The attack resulted in a split lip and lacerations on his face and head, according to his mother, Maria Caldwell.

The teen suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, which causes him to strongly dislike being touched or having people in his person space, and is considered legally blind, wearing extremely magnified glasses, according to Caldwell.

Caldwell said that upon approaching her son it should have been plainly obvious to the officers that her son had disabilities.

“If they had training with dealing with an autistic child or someone like an Alzheimer’s patient … it would seem they would have known how to handle him better than they did,” Caldwell told the Pioneer Press on Wednesday.

Abrams was standing on the train tracks moments before police approached him. When police initially approached, the teen was wearing headphones and couldn’t hear everything police said, with officers then accusing him of using drugs or being intoxicated.

“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.”

According to a report by KARE 11:

Abrams and friends who were with him are apprentices with Urban Boatbuilders, a youth organization, and they had been demonstrating their work at the Minnesota State Fair. They were heading home from there, waiting for a train, when Abrams jumped onto the tracks. The teen said Wednesday he was “mostly playing around, like play fighting.”

Abrams was on the tracks for about 10 seconds, said his 15-year-old friend, who was helping Abrams get home; Abrams usually has someone to help him wherever he goes, his mother said. Abrams had just returned to the platform when officers approached.

Officers thought the non-compliance of Abrams was reason enough to justify forcibly taking him down, which resulted in him being battered and left unconscious.

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Abrams non-compliance wasn’t done out of malice, but out of not really understanding the situation, and believing he hadn’t done anything wrong. Abrams’ autism makes it extremely difficult for him to interpret the intentions or feelings of others, according to his mother.

“He has the mind of a 12 year old … even though he doesn’t look like that,” Caldwell said.

Police released the teen to the custody of his mother rather than take him to the juvenile detention facility, with his disabilities being “one of the determining factors,” according to Caldwell.

Police do not plan on presenting the case to prosecutors or to bring any charges, according to Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla.

“He’s not out to harm anybody. He’s just like any teen, trying to find their place in the world, but needing just a little special help,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell said she simply wants to see officers recognize abnormal behavior and people exhibiting signs of mental illness.

“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,'” she said. “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.”

Police are trained to think like the military in combat, which means they prioritize their own safety and the safety of fellow officers over everything else, including that of the citizens they allegedly “protect and serve.”

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They are trained to take control of situations, rather than think critically, which results in an exponential number of unnecessary violent altercations with citizens who questions their “authority.” In reality, many of these incidents would require no force, or violent response whatsoever, and could be easily de-escalated and peaceably resolved.

When your only tool is a hammer, suddenly everything begins to look like a nail; including the disabled and mentally ill.


Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has been published on BenSwann’s Truth in Media, Truth-Out, AlterNet, InfoWars, MintPressNews and many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.

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    • Oh dear I hit the f button for f*** off. Oops. My bad

  • That’s not lacking training. It’s lacking any trace of being a decent human being

  • Training???
    It is not possible to train thaat
    They are being selected for their tendency to be lowbrow thugs – frontline stormtroopers for their sociopathic masters

  • Too painful, just sad

  • I’d say the cops we hired are paranoid sociopaths. It is required.

  • sorry for having a feeling sorry for me moment, but I am currently facing assault charges on an ex police officer and the restaurant video would have clearly shown the opposite.

  • Assholes
    They just enjoy it
    Jump at the chance to force you to comply

  • Training? A fool can see the kids state of being, before applying force….

  • Take a look 🙂

  • Betcha the fucking Pigs feel all high and mighty after beating down an individual who is incapable of fighting back in Self Defense.

  • What we allow…..

  • So now its criminal to be mentally ill, since so many still think only criminals are treated this way he must have been a “thug” or something to deserve this? Smh… These are the stories that need national attention. Wonder why only the cases where the individual had some kind of criminal background are being plastered on every news station? To justify this behavior to the “majority” while this continues to happen to innocent people!

  • We need fresh new faces in Congress! Remove all the old people.

  • many cops have anger management issues that need to be addressed. having a gun for those type of cops with anger issue is a high risk against innocent victims ending up dead in the hands of police brutality.

  • it’s not because of training…. it’s because of the whole fallacious notion that anyone has a right to coerce anyone else…. anyone who wants to be a cop is suffering from some level of psychopathy… because they think that since the state says its ok to coerce people and violently oppress them for dissent, it must be ok…. ALL COPS ARE BAD AND HAVE ALWAYS BEEN…. if you refuse to recognize that, then you’re under emotional mind control…. plain and simple.

  • They dont do this because of lack of training. Common sense tells you not to beat a blind person. They do this because they get off on hurting people!!!!

  • The stats indicate approximately 1 n every 100 kids have Aspergers /autistic spectrum disorder. May be less than that. They are extremely antisocial but have been called. Little Einsteins. If your shouting demands at them they don’t understand why your acting so stupid. If my grandson was interacting and laughing with someone I knew he sensed they were just like him. Those were the only times he talked a lot.

  • 🙁

  • Training thugs to be kind is like training a wolf to be a vegetarian.

  • Lack of training? Just mafia with badges.

  • I do not believe it is a lack of training that caused this abuse of power but rather a mentality of bullying.

  • THESE PEOPLE ARE BRUTES!!!!! THEY ARE VIOLENT ANTI SOCIAL PEOPLE!!!!

  • Let us not be misled. Training (or lack of) has nothing to do with these acts of unwarranted police brutality. It starts and ends with the lack of accountability, and the fact that these errant cops have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Why do you suppose so many are striving to obtain Paid Administrative Leave (PAL)? Because a pal is a cops best friend.

  • Couldn’t be because they’re psychopaths, could it?

  • .

  • ONLY IN AAMERICA CAN THIS CRAP HAPPEN

  • I hope they’re held accountable and that this leads to better training in the future

  • and they call it justified

  • Sigh

  • Police get training? I just thought they learned the beat and shoot thing from either being the bullied or the bully in school.

  • Police lack training in shooting, staying in shape, thinking rationally……pretty much everything that doesnt involve planting evidence and beating minorities.

  • There are more mentally ill cops then the people who walk the street.. This is wrong and needs to be addressed ASAP

  • Make sure you get an attorney to stop this madness, so sorry to see this.

  • Just how much “crucial training” does it take for a person to know that beating someone like this is just plain wrong? If you NEED that kind of training, you’re a psychopath and you shouldn’t be a cop in the first place.

  • Those cops are worse then animals

  • Citizens of the USA ,you are the most weaponised people on Earth, why are these scum still able to ride roughshod over the public without any comeback?

  • don’t understand why cops have the right to beat people in america!I

  • Maximum force as a first resort. No ability to asses the situation.
    Pure psychopathy.

  • Snappy subservience to COPs is now DEMANDED, regardless of: wearing headphones, being legally blind, having a disability and requiring ADA accommodations, and/or having done absolutely NOTHING WRONG

  • Cops are so retarded! Something lacking in their humanity! Beating people is a crime and if a cop does it they should be spending a minimum of 3 times the sentence.

  • Oh – they’ve been trained all right!

  • Stop making excuses for those BIGOTS. They are straight up racist why this happened.

  • Very frightening world we witnessing

  • We keep having stories about bad cops….You honestly couldn’t pay me enough to be a cop!!…There are good ones and bad ones…Same as everything else in life…Sure better training could help…! I do think they’re are some bad ones…I’ve met them myself even…But I think we need to stop slamming them so much….We’re not doing anything by hating the cops! Not all cops are bad…..Many of them joined up because they wanted to help! I’d like to see one good cop story for every bad cop story we have…I’m not saying this isn’t horrible…I have a nephew who is Autistic…I’m just saying all this hate isn’t helping anything…Get better gun laws..stop open carry!!!! If I were a cop and we had open carry I’d be way too paranoid…You get what i’m saying! …So I’ll stop and let the bad comments come rolling in! I’m just saying maybe we should focus on the good some cops do instead of always being against them…Do you want to be a cop???

    • See, the problem with that is pointing out “good cops” doesn’t do ANYTHING for anyone except make you feel better. Pointing out bad cops is exactly what needs to be done, repeatedly and often, until the police are the ones scared to make a move, as they should be in a “free” country, and not us. Pointing out good cops doesn’t do a damn, and if they really were good, they wouldn’t be cops anyway. “Good cops” are the ones who quit after they see that what they signed up for is not actually the job.

  • I think the training is actually to blame here. They get a skewed idea the what their roles are from day one. They are trained as soldiers going into gorilla warfare in urban environments.

  • So when are we gonna train them…