B.C. boy handcuffed, mother says children’s hospital should have been safe space | NanaimoNewsNOW
She says she began recording a video that she posted to social media when one of the officers pressed his knee on her son’s back.
A Metro Vancouver Transit Police statement said officers called to a SkyTrain station Thursday afternoon “found a youth physically assaulting a woman, later identified as his mother, with minor injuries, including one.” bloody face”.
It is said the boy allegedly attacked a SkyTrain attendant who tried to intervene.
On the way to the hospital, officers handcuffed the boy, where they were first removed before Brown captured the incident on video.
“The use of physical force is always the last resort,” the police statement said.
But in the case of Brown’s son, police said, “it was a necessary step to ensure the safety of the person in the midst of a crisis, the public and the officers involved.”
Brown says officers told her she had a “high tolerance” for her son’s behavior.
“That’s right,” she said in a phone interview on Friday.
“You have to have a high tolerance for a child with autism because they have needs. I ask him what he needs and then we will find a solution.”
Brown says she respects the police, adding that her son has run away from school a number of times and appreciates the officers who helped find him.
“Some cops know what to do with a kid with autism, others just treat him like an adult because I think he has autism and we’re indigenous,” she said, adding how she feels about her and her son had been “racially profiled”.
A statement from BC Children’s Hospital said, “Providing an inclusive and culturally safe healthcare environment for patients and their families is a top priority.”
The hospital says it has launched a health and safety review of the incident and its Indigenous health team has reached out to the boy’s family.
The approximately three-minute video, which Brown posted to Facebook, begins with the boy handcuffed as the two police officers pin him face down on the ground.
Brown is heard telling officers, “That’s too much.”
One of the officers says he understood where she came from, “but because of his past violent behavior, we can’t let it progress any further.”
Afterwards, Brown said her son took a moment to collect himself and then asked how she was doing.
“He said, ‘It’s okay, don’t cry,’ as if to reassure me. But I told him, no, that happened to you… and it shouldn’t have happened,” she said.
“He doesn’t want to talk about it. He’s trying to keep a strong front.”
The Union of BC Indian Chiefs says it is “appalled at the appalling treatment of an Indigenous boy” by transit police.
“Children deserve compassionate care,” the union said in a statement.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on January 27, 2023.
The Canadian Press