PHILADELPHIA, April 2, 2021 – Today, Councilmember Derek Green (At-Large) issued a statement following Thursday’s arrest of a current and a former Philadelphia Police officer for the August 19th, 2020 assault of a 27-year-old man with Asperger’s syndrome, a condition on the Autism Spectrum:
I’m disgusted over the news of this young man’s assault by 2 Philadelphia Police officers last summer. It is absolutely unacceptable and quite frankly, unfathomable that after witnessing the horrifying deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Walter Wallace, Jr. here in Philadelphia – both caught on video – that we still have to deal with such disturbing actions at the hands of those sworn to serve and protect.
This appalling and preventable incident further underscores the need for not just more civilian police oversight, but better and more intense training for officers, detectives and other high-ranking law enforcement officials.
April is Autism Acceptance & Awareness Month. As an outspoken advocate for the Disability community and most importantly, the father of a young man on the Autism Spectrum, I stand up for people like this 27-year-old victim and others who struggle to or are unable to speak for themselves and say that this behavior will not be tolerated by any law enforcement official, regardless of rank. We continue to set ourselves back with every instance of police brutality, every arrest that occurs by way of racial profiling or stereotyping and the mistreatment by police of neurodiverse individuals due to lack of due diligence, effective training and just blatant disregard for humanity.
We must be better and do better than this, here at home and in every other American city.