A 14-year-old Black teen with autism was attacked by New York police officers while waiting for his siblings to check out at Target, Newsone reports.
A Target spokesperson said the employee called the cops on the teenager “after a guest entered the store who had previously threatened physical violence against one of our team members,” Spectrum News reports.
Sangare tweeted about the incident, “The police approached him [the boy] & he immediately showed them he had cash on him & he had no merchandise on him.” The bystander noted, “The manager was saying he wasn’t stealing - the manager wanted him removed.”
In the video, the boy’s sister told the cops that he was autistic and tried to intervene as police pinned her brother to the ground. According to Spectrum News, Saratoga County deputies released the 14-year-old boy but arrested his 17-year-old sister on assault charges after she allegedly hit a deputy in the face with a soap dish.
The sheriff’s department hasn’t released details on what led the officer to grab and handcuff the boy.
Chante Ware, the children's mother, was down the block from the Saratoga Target when her teenagers were manhandled by police.
Ware told Spectrum News, “I’ve seen the video, the first part. I can’t bring myself past seeing my son's face to continue to watch the rest."
Sangare, who rushed back into the Target to record after seeing sheriff’s cars in the parking lot, said in a statement, “I didn’t know what to do because I wanted to call for help. But who do you call for help when it's the police harming the people.”
Saratoga Black Lives Matter has started a GoFundMe page for the Ware family. The organization tweeted that the Ware family no longer feels safe after police ransacked their home on Thursday (April 21).
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
For more mental health resources, click HERE.