West Yorkshire Police have been accused of excessive brutality after an autistic teenage girl was arrested by a group of officers because she said a female police officer “looked like a lesbian”. The 16-year-old girl was moved back to her home in Leeds by officers when she allegedly made the comments.
She was then dragged from the house in the early hours of Monday over the alleged homophobic public order offence.
A video recorded by the girl’s mother has emerged on social media, sparking a viral row.
The mum posted on TikTok: “This is what police do when dealing with autistic children. My daughter told me the police officer looked like her nana, who is a lesbian.
“The officer took it the wrong way and said it was a homophobic comment (it wasn’t).
“The officer then entered my home.
“My daughter was having panic attacks from being touched by them and they still continued to manhandle her.”
During the video, the police officer is heard rowing with the teenager’s family. The officer says: “She’s going to be arrested tonight.”
The mother yells: “She’s autistic, can you stop staring at her please, she’s got autism.”
The video has evoked a strong response on social media with one user saying this is “appalling but not surprising”.
Turning Point UK wrote on Twitter: “Does anyone know the name and badge number of this @WYP_LeedsCity Police Officer?
“This Leeds officer had an autistic girl violently arrested because she said the officer looked like her lesbian gran.
“Apparently this statement is a ‘hate crime’.”
Another user wrote: “Appalling but not surprising. The police appear to have absolutely no grasp on what is or isn’t a crime.
“It is not a crime to say a copper looks like a lesbian. No crime has been committed and that’s a wrongful arrest. I hope the family lodge a complaint.”
In the video, the police stand in the hallway of the family’s home while the girl is ducked in a corner next to a cupboard.
The mother says: ‘She’s made a comment in her own house, she hasn’t said anything to you.
She then repeats that “she’s autistic”, to which the officer responds by saying: “I don’t care.”
The girl then makes some noise, which the mother wrote in her post was the autistic girl punching herself in distress.
The mum says: “You’re going to remove her for what, she said the word lesbian? Her nana is a lesbian, she’s married to a woman. She’s not homophobic.”
Soon, more police arrive to take the girl, who starts screaming, away.