Thursday, March 06, 2014

Autistic man, 33, 'hurled into bins and pinned-down by British cops as he helped binmen collect rubbish because he LOOKED SUSPICIOUS'

Police have apologised to the family of a severely-autistic man who was allegedly beaten in the street by two officers as he helped put out the bins.

Faruk Ali, 33, who has had learning difficulties and severe autism since childhood, was allegedly attacked by two uniformed offices as he helped binmen collect the rubbish outside his family's home.

His family allege he was hurled into some bins and pinned down as he tried to get back inside his home in Luton, Bedfordshire.

They claim the two officers then beat Mr Ali because they thought he looked 'suspicious'.

His brother Dhobir, 31, has said Mr Ali was clearly wearing a badge to alert people that he suffers from autism.

He says there has been no full explanation from police over the incident and called for the officers involved to be sacked.

The force yesterday said the officers had been placed on ‘restricted duties’ and an internal investigation has begun which will be supervised by the IPCC.

Dhobir Ali said: 'The family has been traumatised by the whole experience. Faruq hasn’t actually recovered yet, he’s still traumatised.

'He is scared to leave the house, he has become more anxious and agitated and he is terrified everytime he sees the police.

The force yesterday said the officers had been placed on ‘restricted duties’ and an internal investigation has begun which will be supervised by the IPCC

'When he came in the house with the police behind him I saw the bruises and cuts and straight away knew what had happened to him.

'Why did the police use such force? They said he looked suspicious but he was wearing slippers at the time and he was wearing a big coat.

'The officers in question have not been suspended from duty and they did not report this incident to the office immediately after the event.

'We don’t really know if the police are taking it seriously or not. We want to see these officers suspended.

'The fact of the matter is my brother is not the only one who suffers from autism in Luton and we want to make sure this doesn’t happen again.'

Witness Musthafa Hussain claimed: 'They dragged him, they punched him, they held him hard. It was outrageous.'

The incident has become a matter of local concern and a public meeting was held on Tuesday to discuss the allegations with senior officials at Bedfordshire Police

It was confirmed the issue was being investigated and that the officers involved have been put on 'restricted duties'.

Bedfordshire Police said the force 'is sorry for the distress Mr Ali and his family feel regarding the actions officers took due to their concerns for Mr Ali’s wellbeing on February 20'. ["their concerns for Mr Ali’s wellbeing" caused them to beat him up???]

A spokesman added: 'This incident is being taken seriously and an investigation has been launched by the Beds, Cambs and Herts Professional Standards Department which will be supervised by the IPCC.'

Tom Purser, the National Autistic Society's Policy and Participation Officer, said police needed special training to deal with people suffering from autism. He said: 'Autism training is not routinely provided as part of police training in the UK, despite the fact that the condition affects 1 in 100 people.

'People with autism have difficulties with social communication and can become extremely distressed in situations that they do not understand or when they are surrounded by noise and confusion.

'In such circumstances, their actions and behaviour can easily be misinterpreted and situations can quickly escalate.

'It's essential that everyone involved in the criminal justice system, from police officers and prison staff to High Court judges, has access to autism training so they can familiarise themselves with the condition and its complexities.'

A spokesperson from the IPCC said: 'Bedfordshire Police referred matters regarding an incident involving Mr Faruk Ali on 20 February 2014 to the IPCC.

'After careful assessment, due to the seriousness of the allegation and the wider concerns within the community, the IPCC has decided that we will supervise the investigation into this matter.

'This will ensure IPCC oversight of the police investigation into the complaint. We will keep this decision under review as the investigation progresses.'

Original report here




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